It’s 1 am. Pitch black. And you can’t see a damn thing.
It’s hard not to turn on your headlight, but if you do its game over. It really is amazing how well you can cast when you cant see. You lay down what feels like the perfect cast and start to twitch the hell out of the tip of you rod.
All you have for reference is the sound of the fly skating across the water. Just when you think the drift is over an explosion at the end of your line. And nothing. He missed… Or maybe you botched it. You strip in the slack and as the fly reaches your feet he’s back. And hes hungry. It’s a mix between a toilet flushing and a cinder block being thrown in the water and it’s scary.
The fight is on. Before it’s even over you want more.
Go ahead and forget sleeping. Just knowing you could be out throwing junk like that makes it even harder to fall asleep at night.
Flies the size of your hand and 20 lbs test Maxima. Its like a grind-house version of fly fishing. It’s too easy to get addicted too. Dark circles under your eyes, bugs bites everywhere, bruises from falling, and now leeches. You have to pay to play.
Bringing one fish to hand is a good night. But when the one fish looks like that… It’s okay.
The next time we look like we are dragging in the morning you can guess why.
It rained the entire weekend here in Missoula. We didn’t see blue sky until Monday afternoon. However the fishing was great. We found some fish and some bugs. The streamer bite wasn’t too shabby either.
We all caught some nice fish and saw some big orange hummingbird sized bugs flying around. It was exciting to watch those huge bugs crash land on the water.
Big Bug Eater.
Bigger fish eater… Lesson learned. Never throw streamers with 3x. You never know what you might hook into.
The Zen nympher gettin it done.
Bugs are here and more are on their way. The fish are starting to look up and the days are still getting longer. Floating tomorrow. Life is good.
“It’s pretty amazing living somewhere where other people get to come on their vacations”
It’s too easy to forget where I call home. Talking fishing over a Summer Honey with a buddy, I was reminded of that. I am also reminded every time someone comes into town that I get the chance to fish with. Showing someone my favorite reasons of why I live here is like getting a fresh look around. It’s like seeing these mountains, rivers, fish, and animals for the first time again. It’s as much of a vacation for me as it is for them.
That’s just another reason why I love summer in Montana so much. Getting the chance to not only see friends and family but to share this place with them.
Sometimes its too easy to forget that I am fortunate enough to call this beautiful place home. When work is long, money is short, and getting caught up in the little things is far too easy. Thankfully I get the chance to see it all with fresh eyes every time I get the opportunity to share it with someone else. And I am very lucky for that to be the case.
Over the past two weeks Stan and I have had friends and family come into town. Stan’s great friends Dan and Shannon from high school stopped in Missoula on their trip across the country. Daniel had never fly fished and getting the chance to row him down the Missouri while Stan put him on fish after fish was a blast.
Dan’s first fish on a fly rod. I don’t think I caught a fish like that for a few years at least.
It was like he had been doing it for years.
We were blown away by the size of this whitefish. As usual… The photo doesn’t do it justice.
The following week my cousin Austin came up for a few days from North Carolina. We have had the chance to fish all over the country and Canada together, but this was the first time he had come out to visit since I have been living in Montana. Austin said he hadn’t picked up a fly rod in over a year, but he didn’t seem to miss a beat.
All the water was high and off color. But the fish seemed to cooperate. which was very considerate of them because we only had two days to get it done.
We didn’t even get out of town before Austin was sticking some solid fish.
Thanks to Dan, Shannon, and Austin for coming to visit and showing me how lucky I am to live here. Getting the chance to share this place is like I get to see it all for the first time again. So please do me a favor, come visit, and ask to be shown around.
It was hot this weekend in Missoula. Hot enough to blow out the water. So we made like Lewis and Clark and explored.
While we didn’t find the easy passage to the Northwest, we did find some fish. And some other critters.
Of course we find the bears when we aren’t hunting them.
A wide range of fish made themselves present. In one weekend we managed to find Bull Trout, Cutties, Largemouth Bass, Perch, Pike, and Whitefish. It was pretty exciting. It was one of those weekends when you go exploring on a hunch and find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Just making mountains out of mole hills
Getting after it.
We put Anthony’s “new to him” boat to the test this weekend and it passed with flying colors.
The gold at the end of the rainbow
Anthony and I both caught our first perch on a fly rod. We were pretty excited.
I know there are bigger ones in there, but more research is required.
When the rivers give you lemons… You go find your own lemonade. It feels like summer here. I even got a great jump start on my Chaco tan. A sign of good things to come.
Macro-ish. Maybe… We can call it abstract. We make the rules.
Hope you had a great weekend. FCFT did. Lots and lots of fish for the ones who went to the Mo. (Anthony caught the fish of the year) And a maiden voyage on the new-to-me raft for the ones in Missoula. Good weekend for sure.