We fished three days out there. Day one was with Cliff, who probably takes the cake for coolest dude over 70 known to man (TM). Cliff is a retired government accountant who packed up the wife back near Atlanta, moved to Montana and has never looked back since. Cliff was dropping the knowledge bombs on us all day, and while I'd love to share some of his insights on the world, life, women, and why I can't fish worth a damn, most of is isn't printable. Oh did I mention Cliff rowed the two of us all day long?
Cliff, muttering something probably unrepeatable, and his rig.
E's sweet old Hardy Bros. reel. The ring you see is lined with agate.
San Juan Worm
Brindle Chute, deadliest fly in Montana
The second day Earl, the farmer who made me move irrigation piping to "earn" my belt buckle, gave us a tip. At the top of a canyon near Corvallis, there was a great fishing spot, we were told. According to Earl it was "oh I'd say about a three mile hike." Fast forward six miles and we're still not there. We didn't bring enough water and we were officially getting tired of hiking with all our fishing gear. Then, finally we happen upon the spot. Picture a mountain stream in your head. Now fill that mountain stream with literally the dumbest trout known to man. Yep, that was day two. Slaying every single fish I cast to. A real treat for this northern boy who considers a good day catching one fish. From that day forward, however, any time one of us said "Oh, how far away is that?" someone would invariably follow up with "You want it in miles-miles or earl-miles?"
There are like seven fish hiding behind my hand
That did not suck.
Day three was a pretty standard day of fishing (hence the lack of pictures, really) with my buddy and his Dad. We really got after it that day as E's dad is a serious fisherman. The highlight of the day was E hooking into a really pretty brown and learning the waders-in-August paradox: you're comfortable in the morning, but by about noon you're really, really hot. So, lesson learned. The pain of the cold water in the morning is a small price to pay for not having your nethers basically braised.