Thursday, May 16, 2013


I was planning my day of cleaning the cottage and reorganizing fly-rods and reels when CrossCurrents called. It was 9 o'clock and they had a couple clients coming over from Hamilton to fish and wanted a guide. Of course I said, "Hell yeah!" It gave me a reason to put off cleaning and since the rest of my spring is looking a little lean, I'm happy to work even if it means a little last minute scrambling so thanks guys for coming over and thanks CC for the call. The fishing was great, the boys did well and and now my cleaning continues today.

I feel like I need to clarify something. I don't hate Bozeman guides. I really don't. It's that time of the year when guides from all over come to the Missouri because everything else is blown out and I get that. We're all just trying to make a living. What gets frustrating is dealing with all the guys from all over who don't understand the ethos of the Missouri and do things that tend to go against the local customs. Some guys, (like the boys from Livingston if I'm going to keep singling out groups,) do figure out what is appropriate or not based on how the guides up here fish so that they don't step on toes or clog things up for those that have to make a living up here year-round.

I'll give you an example. The Missouri River is a big river with big riffles and inside out seams that can be fished by drifting down the run and then pulling into soft water to row back up and take another turn. If guys are willing to do that, multiple boats can fish these runs when it gets busy and everyone catches fish. As soon as someone drops the hook in one of these runs and stops to fish it, or gets out of the boat to walk it down the run, it clogs it up and only one boat can fish it. There are a ton of fish in the river and for the most part, any guide worth his weight in salt can go to the next run or the next one. However, when there are a dozen boats on a stretch, all parking in runs, finding fishable water becomes a challenge.

The last thing I'd say about that is for the group that planned the trip I was talking about last week; everyone has a choice of where they want to spend their money and nobody's going to argue that. But if you decide to bring in guides from somewhere else that don't know the river or how to fish it, you get what you get. I just hope you they got a little taste of what the Missouri has to offer and plan accordingly for the next time.

Ok, I lied. So this is the last thing I'll say. I'm certainly not the authority on how the Missouri River should or shouldn't be fished or who should fish it. I notice things because I'm out there a lot. You can take my opinion for what it's worth and make your own decisions. I just want everyone to get along and have a prosperous season.

Keep 'em where they live...

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