The Majesty…

SUBMITTED AUGUST 2016
by MATT

 

 

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

#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

#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

#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

#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,

Matt

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

Film – Fenn’s Searchers

mattbanner
My name is Matt Maisano, and I’m a documentarian from North Carolina.  The film I’m working on is called Fenn’s Searchers. The film will be about the treasure hunt in general, as well as the stories of several searchers involved in this great adventure story.

This is a film made primarily by one person.  My wife was my only crew, and she has no background in film, but made a great helper :).  Like a lot of people on here, I’ve been a fan of the chase since it was featured on the today show a few years ago.  These last few years it’s been my dream film to make, and I always thought it was out of reach to do.  Financially, logistically, etc.  How could I rent the gear, fly across the country, get a rental car, lodging, etc?  I then got inspired by what I was reading about Forrest and the stories of the searchers, many with the same challenges I faced as a filmmaker.  At that point something clicked in my head, and I decided it was time to stop talking about it, and just take the risk and do it.

Well here we are about 7 months since this project officially began.   It has been a great experience so far, something I’ll never forget.  I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a part of the country I’ve never been to, New Mexico and Colorado, as well as meeting a bunch of new, interesting, and just plain good people.  I want to specifically mention four searchers that I spent the most time with and were the most instrumental in the film being made at all.  They’ve been particularly great to both film with, and get to know beyond the film.  Those are Sacha J., James G., David Rice, and Cynthia Meachum.  There are several other searchers I enjoyed meeting as well.

Thanks for your time, and for letting me be a part of this community.Here is a link to the trailer for the film, both on Facebook and Vimeo.  Please check back on our Facebook page, as I will be posting updates and more info soon.
 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fenns-Searchers/1629871240622914

www.FennsSearchers.com

-matt