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Montana: June 2019 Madison Double R Trip Report

May 03, 23
When a group of anglers bond during a Yellow Dog hosted trip in Cuba it typically leads to new adventures. Ian Davis from Yellow Dog and John Sampson from the newly constructed Madison Double R co-hosted an epic trip to Cuba in April of 2018. The success of that adventure spawned an invite for the group to be the first Yellow Dog trip to the Madison Double R. After two years of construction, the lodge opened this June and did not disappoint. In fact, the Double R is as close to perfection for a fishing destination as one can imagine. John and Krista Sampson have been hosting anglers in Montana for over twenty years, and you will feel this in every aspect of the Double R.

Russ and Susie Milam are the on-site ranch managers and will ensure your needs are met. Around twelve miles upstream from Ennis rests the Double R. John Sampson put the majority of the 1,200-acre ranch into a conservation easement. This forward-thinking and generous action ensure this section of the famous Madison River in Montana will never be developed beyond the lodge building envelope. The spectacular 360-degree views from any part of the property screams “Big Sky Country”. Between the two and a half miles of private access to the Madison, two miles of a private side channel that resembles more of a spring creek of the Madison, and a pond that the lodge overlooks kept this group very busy during the last week of June.

Since the Big Hole River, which is only an hour from the Double R, was on fire many of the guides led anglers to this dry fly fishery each day. On a beautifully clear blue sky day, the core Cuba group was guided by John and a few of his top guides into Yellowstone National Park. The natural beauty of the Park amazed the group as the team fished the Gibbon and Madison. Lots of phrases like “I have never seen such a blue sky in my life” were uttered while casting big dry flies to wild trout. Hatches of Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, Stoneflies, and Salmonflies on the Big Hole and Madison made it best to fishing early or late in the day.

The guides at the Double R will fish anytime! This is not the typical 8 AM to 4 PM fishing program. Everything is 100% customized to your requests and desires. The most challenging aspect for guests at the Double R is trying to decide what you are going to eat for dinner. Each evening the menu features four to five fresh, ever-changing selections that are all gastronomic delights. The Halibut and Bison tenderloin were top choices for this hosted group, but the trout, boasted chicken and pasta dishes were also all amazing.

For breakfast, the avocado toast was a perfect lighter option, but the unique pancakes were the favorite to ensure you would not go hungry until your streamside lunch, which was also satisfying, but not too heavy. The gym, hot tub and messages ensured the guests were loose and ready to fish. The layout of the lodge and buildings is spread out enough to convey a very private feel to the setting. Golf carts and mountain bikes are supplied to all the guests.

After dinner each evening the Saloon was opened, which features the original cowboy bar from the Norris bar, a pool table, shuffleboard, and a huge flats screen TV. The all-inclusive nature of the Double R will keep you well-lubricated and fed. Yellow Dog is proud to partner with the Madison Double R. Not only are we close friends but we both love taking care of our valued anglers.