The Big Move: Missoula, Montana

Notice a dearth of posts lately? Ah, life in the way of creativity.

Let’s see. Put Fly Rod & Reel’s Angling Adventures issue to bed in April; put FRR’s Summer issue to bed 10 days ago; emptied a house in Ennis, Montana and made three trips, back and forth, to Missoula, Montana to furnish a new house in Missoula. And, I’ve been working with a week-on/week-off schedule with the girls. Work late. Work early. Change banks. Change internet providers. Set up new phone numbers, cable and Wi Fi. New mailing addresses and P.O. Boxes. Where did those care-free days go?

Fortunately, most of the rivers have been blown by runoff and the ones that remain fishable have been fished fairly hard. So I don’t feel like I’ve missed too much, not that I’ve had the time to take advantage of opportunity had there been opportunity to be had. Overlooked in all of this are the West’s great lakes, which don’t get as much attention as the free-flowing rivers and tailwaters. That’s a mistake because lakes are great fisheries typically offering larger trout than what we find in rivers, and the pressure isn’t as bad because there’s often a lot more room to spread out.

Which lakes? Georgetown Lake is a good bet, as are Clark Canyon Reservoir, Ennis Lake, Hebgen Lake, Hidden Lake, Henry’s Lake, Island Park Reservoir, Bynum Reservoir, and many, many other smaller gems sprinkled around the northern Rockies.

So where’s the sense of accomplishment in what I’ve been doing? Where’s the value and satisfaction? Let me tell you, a new life in Missoula, with new friends and old friends and new scenery and hikes into the mountains out the backdoor, and mountain bike trails five minutes away, and the ability to travel and fish all the waters west, east, north and south of me, is a godsend. And we’ve been hiking the “L” everyday we’ve been here, Tate mostly running uphill all the way, Myka walking a little ways and then saying, “Dad, carry me.” So into the Kelty she goes and then my legs burn like crazy. She’s 40 pounds now and it’s shifty weight on my back. I think my legs will be strong by the end of summer. Best of all—Tate and Myka are stoked on their new digs, fired up about their new room and the bunk beds (what a bitch those were to build), and having fun meeting all the neighborhood kids and destroying the local parks. “Really, dad,” they say. “There’s more than one park in Missoula? Awesome!” And last night—big, healthy green salad and pizza from the Bridge. Delivered. “Dad, that guy brings pizza to our house?” Six years old and her first enounter with delivery. Pretty amazing.

So, I’m back in the saddle here and looking forward to keeping you updated with the fishing and other aspects of the fishing life. Look for more soon, on a solid schedule.

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