The Majesty…




Hello Mr. Fenn,

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to offer my sincere thanks for all the work you have put into your writings, your books, and of course for creating “The Chase.” I have admired your life story and your work from afar for a couple of years now, and just recently I traveled to the Rocky Mountains for the first time and took an end-of-summer vacation – embarking on my own chase and visiting some popular “Fenn spots.”

As a single dad of 31 from Auburn, Alabama, I do not get the opportunity to travel much. However with my young boy and girl at camps, I traveled to Montana and Wyoming for a few days to find the thrill so many others before me have.


#1 is the view upriver on the Madison toward Hebgen Dam. About 150 yards from the Dam. I walked the trails up to the “off limits” area near the Dam and started my search from there.

Without going into details on my own ideas for your poem, I found myself pulled in by the majesty of Hebgen Lake and West Yellowstone. I started my adventure at Hebgen Dam, scouring the trails and the edge of the Madison River. I saw many fly fishermen, and was able to get some wonderful advice on how to break into the sport itself, something I have wanted to do for some time. Over the course of the next two days, I walked the edge of the Madison River, as well as venturing up Cabin Creek into a remote canyon. Camping right on the edge of the Madison at Campfire Lodge and Campground was a dream come true. Yet nothing prepared me for the jaw-dropping sight of rounding the bend on the Madison River and facing south along the water toward Ghost Village. It is a sight of wonder I’ll never forget. The mountains in the distance with their rock faces, the canyon with trees and lush greens, the flowers, the half-sunken cabins to the left from the great quake and flood… Amazing.


#2 is a shot of a man-made waterfall way up Cabin Creek that I was surprised to find. I suspect not many people have worked their way up the canyon that far, as I had to travel in the stream for some time. I doubt an 80 year old man could climb as I did, but my desire for adventure took over and I put the hunt on hold for awhile 🙂

I stood on the bank of the Madison, finding myself lucky to be alone – a rare moment with no fishermen or hikers in sight – as the sun slowly set behind the mountains. I scoured around and worked my way south to Ghost Village, and eventually down to Beaver Creek over the course of many hours. A bull moose walked leisurely across the river in front of me, making it look easy to cross the small rapids in an area where even my 6’5″ frame struggled to not get swept downstream. I couldn’t wait to come back to this place again, even though I hadn’t even left yet.


#3 is a picture a hiker took of me at Ghost Village, right at the bend where the Madison turns west and flows toward Beaver Creek and Quake Lake. You can see the half-sunk cabins in the background.

As a light rainshower moved into the canyon, I worked my way back to the campground, enjoying the cold mountain rain. Perhaps I only enjoyed it because I knew fresh dry clothes awaited me moments ahead, and I was not lost somewhere up Red Canyon 🙂 A strange buzz came from my pack, and I realized my phone had been on for two days but had not beeped or rang due to lack of signal. I checked it during the brief moment of cell service and saw a message from my 7 yr old little girl:

“Daddy did you find the tresher?”


#4 is a Bison who decided to own the road for awhile in Lamar Valley. I ventured to the Lamar Valley Ranger Station and hiked up Rose Creek, which offered incredible views.

I’ve shared your story with my kids, and let them scour the photos in your books, as well as the “Tresher Map.” I chuckle as I write that. I cannot wait to go back to those mountains, and I’ve promised my little ones they can come on the next adventure with me. Perhaps we can learn to fly fish together, and create some memories that will become our own treasures.

Thank you, Forrest.

Many Blessings,


PS: I also ventured to Baker’s Hole, Madison Junction, and the Ojo Caliente geyser. Just amazing.

34 thoughts on “The Majesty…

    • Thanks for the comment. I was rather impressed by how easily the clues go right in order as I “put in below the home of Brown” and started walking. My heart accelerated a few times to say the least. The area is a great fit to the poem as well as all the additional clues and bits of info that have come out in recent years. BUT, so are many other places that searches are looking! I find it best to read the books, see if you can capture Forrest’s heart, and then let the poem do the work for you. Far too many people try to fit their own ideas (some of them ridiculous) into a solve, rather than submitting to the poem and using that as your guide.

      Anyway, just my two cents!

    • Iron Will–Are you going to search this month?So far you are the only one mentioning certain ideologies precisely aligning with mine.Do you have the one key word? You will know what I mean if you do?

      • A trip in the near future is possible, but I’m not entirely sure we’re thinking the same idea. Mine is kind of imaginative 🙂

        • Hi just got in. Thanks for the reply,I’m using this page because I don’t want to draw to much attention to what your saying on other pages.I am not trying to draw any info out of you,but if this is imaginative your on the right track. Do you have the one key word?If yes I would like to call you or E-mail you away from the discussion. Then we will see if our thoughts are in line. Thanks Rick

    • I climbed to a large rock on a hilltop way up Rose Creek, and thought it might have been the blaze! Haha. It was so unique, and not on any human trail. Standing on the rock offered a panoramic view of Lamar Valley, and quite possibly the most peaceful view I’ve ever seen. Just make sure you take your bear spray! Not only do the grizz roam that area, but the Rose Creek wolf pack as well. On a side note, I crested a hill once and came face to face with a Bison not more than 15 feet away. He wasn’t too happy about that 🙂

  1. Hello Matt. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. I enjoyed the photos of the places you’ve been. I’m sure your children will enjoy making memories with you there.

    • I didn’t do much searching at Ojo Caliente, didn’t seem to fit the clues very well. I just wanted to see the famous bathing spot! And boy oh boy, was it HOT. I was surprised to see so many people around too, traveling up and down the old service road, and over to the fountain flats area. But still, it was a beautiful place to visit.

  2. Great story and nicely written. I know that feeling of adventure and wonderful sights and glad you shared it with us. I haven’t been to that area, but hope to someday.

    • @Rose – You should definitely visit the area. It is one of the more beautiful places I ventured to while out there. Hebgen Lake has incredible views no matter what side you are on, and I am now particularly fond of the north side as the Madison River continues and travels into the canyon.

  3. It sure looks an awesome place. I hope to go some day. My bride is not real anxious. She has been there many times as a young in. Her father used to fish there.

  4. It was very fun to read your story because it feels familiar! The Quake Lake area was the first area I investigated myself. From home that is, because unlike you, I was never able to find a full solution there. Rose Creek was also on my radar for a while.
    The first time I went to Yellowstone to search I fell in love with the area. Now I have been there three times, always enjoying every second! My last trip was in June, with wildlife watching as the main activity. I couldn’t resist spicing it up with the thrill of a short chase, though 😉

  5. Thanks Matt! I loved it story. My favorite part was the “tresher”. That made me smile. I have a 7 year old grandson. Pics were great too

  6. Matt,
    Welcome to The Chase. You appear to have waded right in without hesitation 🙂 . Always a good idea to have quick-access bear spray available in that neck of the woods.

    Did you happen to glimpse a rainbow while searching in the rain? I continue to search for Forrest’s rainbow, and I’m hoping it’s unlike the real ones that continually move and quickly dissipate. It could be wishful thinking or I may have dreamed it, but it seems the end of one is in close “proximaty” to Widow’s Peak…

    Thanks for sharing your story and photos.
    Stay safe, and good luck in your quest.

    • Hi Joe,

      Everywhere I went I had my bear spray strapped to my hip like an old western gun slinger. I was ready! Haha. And as a matter of fact, I did see a rainbow during the rainshower on my walk from Beaver Creek back toward Cabin Creek up Ghost Village Road. However, there were actually two rainbows, and they seemed to keep moving every time I got closer 😉

  7. Matt,

    Wow, really incredible and really jealous of you! (LOL) What an amazing adventure and truly eloquent writing. Congrats!

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