at the end of the day your fly patch can speak volumes. this is what mine looked like after a visit to the missouri river. not ashamed to say i got my ass handed to me for the first few hours as i waded around in a river that was bigger and more featureless then i expected. it’s painful knowing that the water flowing around your legs is choked with insect life and large trout. i farmed a few hook sets then put my best ninja style stalk on a riser a few inches off the bank. the fish ate on the first drift and when he came to hand he looked like a freestone brown from back home… all 8 inches of him… by noon i only had made contact with one other fish. a monster rainbow that i’d hooked in the dorsal fin with my dropper…. awesome
i regrouped at headhunters, a shop that lives up to the hype. good people there. it’s what every fly shop should want to be when it grows up. i got a few hints, a couple more flies and a beer from the cooler. i sat on the river bank by the bridge in Craig eating a sandwich and it only took one look at my patch to know i was over thinking shit, switching flies too much and generally just needed to settle the fuck down.
long story short. everything turned around after lunch. the fish ate until i could barely see on my walk back to the car. i capped the visit off with a few beers at the bar, had a girl call me a pussy for not doing shots and shared a few laughs with strangers. i called it a night and headed for Bozeman. i set the cruise control and scanned the sides of the road for wildlife with the sage advice i was given as i headed out the door still ringing in my ears, “you’re not really driven’ in montana if you’re not drinkin’ and driven.”