Butte, Montana. Look one direction, snowcapped mountains and rolling grassland. Turn around: giant, iconic, open pit copper mine. One view ugly, complicated, useless. One side beautiful, relaxing, the representation of what is best about this country. Two people with the same human-brand eyeballs could label each view the other.
I outfished him on some decent sized rainbows, which turns out was just him building major trout karma for this weekend.
A friend said at the end of September, “All I want to catch is NOT a cutthroat.” At the time, we had 16 inch fish rising indiscriminately to orange stimis and I thought, “You are fucking crazy, it doesn’t get better than this.” But getting back into fishing over here in Montana, I see what he meant.
It felt good to remember life outside and above our river canyons and it sure did feel like winter up at 9,000 feet.
She headed back to town and I took one night to myself on the banks of the Selway River. Solo is the ultimate decadence in July.
This May I’ll boat on two different multiday rivers, spend nights in six of my favorite cities and river towns around the West, drive and fly way too many miles, move out of… Continue reading
Wherever I am, with that first verse I’m sitting by a campfire watching orange light hit the fretboard of a river-battered guitar. I’m sticking my head out a truck’s window to catch a breath of syringa infused, backroad Idaho air. There’s something in that song that catches me when I’m not “on”.
No need to manically dance around in your pajamas to beat the winter blues when you have… fishing!
Most stories – they bury themselves in the sand. They drift lazily up and down eddy lines. They climb into cracks in the sandstone, limestone and schist. They poke into a driftwood pile and settle in for the winter. Feelings wander up side canyons and don’t come back. Heart-words sit on debris fans and decide not to leave.
I want to open myself up to whatever that water moving downhill needs me to know. That river doesn’t need me to try to tell it stories (I’m SO FUN and SOCIAL! I’m a RIVER GUIDE! I’ve GOT THIS) and my ears are a little more open than they’ve ever been before.