Before hitting the streams we stopped in at Blue Ribbon Flies for some recommendations on where to fish. These guys sell tenkara gear and flies. And they even have a resident Tenkara guide. They put us on a tributary of the Madison and told us to expect a 13" fish at most. They didn't seem to think tenkara was suited for the main stem of the Madison since it's a pretty big river. Kelly proved him wrong on both counts.
Although this stream looked just like our high mountain streams back home, the fish were much more spread out with sections of more than 100 yards being completely devoid of fish punctuated by deeper runs with a pod of fish stacked up. We had to cover a lot of water.
Kelly was on a roll on this trip. He exclusively fished with his SATO and defied all expectations. 13 inch fish on the tiny trib, POSH! Kelly latches into this 18 incher and it takes him for quite a ride. Check out the video of him fighting this fish through some swift little runs and around multiple snags. He fought it like a champ, so I didn't feel bad that my line caught on a snag when I first cast to this fish and missed. Better to have a buddy catch'em than risk putting him down by retrieving my fly.
Later, we fished the main stem of the Madison below Quake Lake, Kelly continued his Tenkara streak as he pulled out fish after fish right next to the bank, while most of the other anglers we saw wading were just casting their limp lines (including me and Lance). Basically, high sticking close to the bank with a heavily weighted fly bouncing off the bottom Czech style was the ticket to the Madison that day. At one point an old timer pulled up along side us in his truck and asked Kelly to leave a few fish for everyone else.