What’s your story?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Dave Hartman, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman is tired of trout

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    What's up WFF?

    I joined this forum only last spring. As someone who just moved here, it’s been real helpful to not only get to know the waters, but to meet some people; WFF has been a big help.

    I moved out here just for the year from Kalispell. I have six months left of my fishing “vacation”, then I go back.
    I’ve got to say, I love this board; there are so many cool characters on it. But one thing that I’d really like to know: what’s your story? How old are you? How long have you been fishing? And where have you been fishing all these years? What waters are "home" to you? What fish is most important to you? Are you a "bum" or is this the vicarious living? (either way, it’s cool). Salt, or fresh? White or wheat? This is your chance to brag a little. Tell us about yourself.

    In particular, I want to hear from all the old-timers, but to any WFF reader/lurker, what's your deal?
     
  2. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

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    Here is my story. Yesterday morning I was employed at Washington Mutual as a Financial Analyst and then in the afternoon, I was told that I was one of the positions that was cut.............Fuck you WaMu!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am 28 and somewhat fresh out of college. Why so late in life? I did a dual chem/bio degee at University of Idaho and then went on to earn my MBA/MIS/Finance degree from Gonzaga University.

    I used to fish the Selway/Loscha/Clearwater when I was young since I grew up in Idaho. Now, I haunt the waters of Wa only due to the fact that most good local finance jobs are in Seattle, but my location may change soon.

    I like fast rods, fast women, fast cars and my drink of choice is Jack Daniels. I approach fly fishing as my greatest passion in life, but know that having a successful career is what will allow me to enjoy this expensive sport.

    My grandpa is the one who involved me in this passion. He was a commercial fly tier for 25 years in Colorado and would fish the Gunnison and all the well known areas in that region. Beyond that, I can't stand long walks on the beach and would rather be watching Trout Bum Diaries than Desparate Housewives...

    Bob
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I was a fly fishin' worshiper of the gods of Roderick Haig-Brown, Sid Glasso, Wes Drain, and Walt Johnson. Now my old friends and mentors are fishin' where the water's always clear, and the steelhead are always on the snap. And now I'm a fishin' god, or is that clod, trying hard to fill big shoes . . .
     
  4. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    Dude that sucks about your job, But cheers on the rest of it. Jack is the drink of choice of all the great rockstars. :thumb:
     
  5. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

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    I was born in an abandoned mine shaft in the Australian opal mining community of Coober Pedy to an itinerant night worker. Plagued by both addictions and venereal diseases, she died a consumptive death when I was still a suckling.

    Given my father may have been any number of illiterate and shrunken men who worked the mines by day and drank by night, I was placed in the care of a foster mother, a librarian by the name of Frau Shimmelfarb. She was a cruel and miserable woman who spared the rod seldom, and under her withering blows and harsh criticism I sought refuge in my studies. I taught myself to read with manuals of mining, Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" , Southy's "Life of Nelson", anything by Montaigne, and Australasian Boys annuals (1912-1924- inclusive) while the Frau banged on doors and screamed for me and my juvie homies ( god bless you wherever you are Kerry Packer and John Howard) to come out.

    At the age of seven, after several bleak, prize-less years of selling Grit magazine, of fossicking for opals with the other men, looking older than my age on account of the desert sun and ingrained dirt, I copied a pirate's head off of the back of cereal box and sent it in to a national competition for "skilled artists." I was given a scholarship and a bus ticket to an art school in the thriving space port of Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.

    The school turned out to be a sham, but during my years as an ink boy, I learned how to string a bamboo pole with carved brolga-bird bone lures and in so doing mastered the catching of Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Saw sharks, turtles and small crocodiles. I had yet to use a hook forged of metal.

    I learned the arts of pickpocketing, three card monte, and had developed a number of pyramid schemes involving Aussie Rules football cards. I read Dickens and Melville, and completed the outstanding Australiasian Boys annuals that Frau Shimmlefarb did not have in the Coober Pedy library.

    I also learned the principles of fly fishing through an ancient, blind and buffalo-hearted Aboriginal named Gulpilil. After my ritual circumcision with a crude flint-knapped knife, and my year of Simpson Desert walkabout, he indoctrinated me with his wisdom that proved both boundless and ancient and whose secrets I have sworn never to reveal.

    Killed by the bite of a vicious Taipan curled comfortably in the foot of his good wellington mud boot, I bore Gulpilil's body back to the Ernabella Mission, a tiny, bleak busted-window village on the South Australian border. Greeted by his mourning clan of Pitjanjara, his place became a sorry camp and his kin moved on leaving the hapless missionary and his wife without a flock.

    Sensing an opportunity to leave a place they loathed, they took me with them, and courtesy of their great wealth and philanthropy, the childless and elderly Mr. and Mrs. Taint Choad adopted me at the age of 11 as their only one. Hardened as I was to the inequalities of life and the brevity of our time on this world, I realized although they were religious zealots, they were also kind hearted and above all, with means.

    The retired back to their hometown of Skamania, bringing me with them, where they spoiled me rotten with both the love of Jesus and the freedom of fishing, but by age 13 they tired of me (as Esquelito says in Nacho Libre "I dunno why you are always judging me because I believe in science" it could have come from my lips also) and sent me to a boarding school run by either ex-military or pedophiles or both. It was there I beat the crap out of a young teacher, Donald Rumsfeld, over a dispute involving grave injustice, the theft of my carefully shoplifted and hidden Jane Mansfield playboy that I knew he now possessed. (I would like to beat him again for that and other reasons.)

    That delivery of vigilante justice caused my expulsion and a forgettable string of facilities, treatments and medications for behaviors judged errant. I was exposed to bromides, phenobarbs, powders, mercurial salts, poultices of potash and oil of vitriol, cupping, stoning, waterboarding, bloodletting, capsicum ointments, rubbing powders and leeches. Restrained in four point leathers, as those black monsters sucked at my conjunctiva and mucous membranes, I studied them growing fat with my blood. It was there that I learned how to view an insect as a potential model for a fly.

    Mr and Mrs Taint Choad passed in a manner unexpected, suddenly, when what I believe were Sasquatch attacked them while truffle hunting at sunset beneath a grove of flowering hazelnut trees. A young farm worker by the name of Ramses Luchadore was found with blood on his shirt and remains in appelate limbo for their murders in Concrete Mother, Walla Walla state pen.

    (I later met him, Ramses seems like a good man, although dumb as a bag of rocks. He taught me theories of catching carp that involve chicken feed and barbel pinching between the first and second toes that I have now mastered. I maintain a pen-pal relationship with him and have sent him photos of my carp with captions "Wish you were here" "How bout them apples" and so on.)

    Distraught with the news of their death and what I assumed was a vast inheritance, but in reality was an insulting array of gambling debts and outstanding civil-fraud lawsuits needing settlement, Gulpilil visited me in a dream, and again told me in his monosyllabic gibberish that I would find peace in fishing the waters again.

    I am still looking for that peace, and while I have found some of it, indeed some of while fishing, I am still haunted by boots, wading boots, snakes, small enclosed spaces, ink stained hands, frightening and shrill anorexic, hysterical women of Germanic descent, pornography theives, braggards and fools.

    Thanks for asking. I look forward to hearing your own story.
     
  6. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman is tired of trout

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    taint choad
    :rofl:
     
  7. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    i'm not an old timer. but i'll post out of boredom anyways.

    Joined the board in june-ish of this year. Just arrived back in Washington after a 4yr hiatus. I've been running a successful recording studio business in Florida during that time. Turned out neither Florida nor the music industry was for me, so here I am.

    Grew up in Central Washington. Graduated from Ephrata High School in 2002 with another member of this board, Jergens (Joe Willauer). We were in school together from preschool through the end. Been fishing since I was just walking. Started with my grandfather, bait fishing wherever he was camped out in the motorhome. Started getting serious with fishing when I neared my teenage years. Started fly fishing at about age 12 or so by the inspiration of my friend Joe. Learned on many of the "lesser known" eastern washington lakes and creeks that I won't name here to keep these places safe for me when I return to them :)

    Didn't fish much in my florida hiatus. But upon my return to washington I immediately got back into it. Spent the summer fishing the cedar and the beaches for cutthroat. Started buying more rods, and getting more interested in bigger, anadromous fish. Caught my first fly caught salmon (while with the starter of this thread actually) and steelhead (with Joe Willauer) this year. Learning to fish on this side of the state has made me re-learn most of what I knew about fly fishing already, so it's been a lot of fun and challenging at the same time.

    Now my story is that I can't catch any more steelhead it seems.
     
  8. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    Ditto what Boot scribed.
     
  9. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

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    Funny, that was my story once upon a time. WAMU in a nutshell: Great to bank with...A nightmare to work for (have worked for several banks, large and small, plus other financial institutions and this one stands out as a classic POS). Branch network/business lines = No stability; Admin = Dysfunction on steroids ... take yer pick since they're based in Seattle. Banking has its inherent ups and downs but that place is 'special.' Had some real encouraging words from the person I replaced back then..."I was the sixth to work for ____ and leave, so you'll be the seventh...you'll see, it's just like getting f'd in the ___ with a chainsaw every day." She was right...I couldn't sit down for a while after that.

    Bob, in case no one has said it yet, getting out of there was the best thing that could happen to you. Congrats - now go celebrate. :thumb:
     
  10. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I don't have a story. I'm 72 pushing 73. bawling: I have been fishing for over 50 years. Used to haunt the waters of Washington State and now I'm in Montana wishing it was spring. bawling:bawling:

    Jim
     
  11. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    One of those "blue lines" in the WA, MT,
    Sorry to hear Obi! I'm 40 and have been laid off three times and have a number of other friends that Wamu has laid off recently. Try to enjoy the holiday and then get back on the horse!

    As far as me, I got back into fishing in my early 30's. I used to take a fly rod out to Montana when I went out to camp and float and fished a little. Eight years later, I spend much of my day thinking about fishing and planning the next trip. I've bought way too much stuff while Christmas shopping this year, much of it fishing related!

    I've been on the site for over four years and lurked for a bit before that. I've fished with many on the board and learned a lot from most of them!

    I don't think the bug will ever go away, although I've slowed down recently with some nagging injuries. At least I can focus on the rods that I'm building and tie up some new stuff while I'm recovering and dealing with too much craziness at work.

    Peace!
    FlyBill :cool:
     
  12. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    One of those "blue lines" in the WA, MT,
    Jim, you have a story... You just can't remember it anymore! :clown:

    You better write down all of those fishing spots in WA and MT for me to keep safe for you too! :p
     
  13. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Well, I'm 33. Is that old? God I hope not :)

    I started fishing with my Dad @ 5. Saltwater, herring and bannana weights. A few salmon and truckloads of groundfish. Good times. I remember once when I was 13 having to row from Jefferson head back to Rays (where we launched) becasue the goddamn Evenrude 5.5 wouldn't start. My dad was cussing all the way. Fired up about 3/4 of the way back. Good times. Dad took me out there all the time in the summer.

    My mom and dad both took me steelheading as a child (gear fishing here). Green, Cedar (big ass fish), Sky/Sno, Satsop, Sammamish Slough. Others I don't remember.

    My gradfather (whom I admire greatly) was a fisheries biologist. Well before that he was a logger and was born in Kalama in the 1920's. He got his BS, then his PhD. Worked in AK, Japan, WA and OR. Served on the OR fish commisison. Took me salmon fishing on the EF Lewis. You know the old story, others we'ren't doing shit but my grandpa made it look like we were pciking fish up at the grocery store. Coho on demand. Well the "40 corkie" snaggers were doing OK on the rock :)

    He remembers catching steelhead at the mouth of the Descutes before the dams went in. His words exactly..."That place was salted with steelhead. Just him, his glass rod, tiny gold spinners and endless metal. He taught me a lot about fishing. The biggest thing he taught me (fishing related) was...

    - If your lure is not in the water, you won't catch anything.
    - If you wade close to the fish, they'll just move further away.

    Anyhow, someone bought me a berkeley flyrod and reel (when I was 9) with some floating line. Tha rod way my sole flyrod until I was out of college. Nothing fancy here. Last time I used it was on the Beaverhead (a side channel that runs through Dillon MT). I had to use a cheeto bag to fix the reel. Caught a 2lb brown on a size 18 or 20 emerger of some sort. Nice end to old rod. Now I own...more stuff. But I keep my toys for a long time. Still have that POS Berkeley somewhere.

    I bought mags and my mother took me to a fly tying class at the Renton community center near the Library. I took my materials, and hers, and began tying flies. I fished that rod eveywhere. I used a lot of gear as well. I began selling flies (classmates and thier family) within a year.

    A few days ago, I just told my wife I had a revelation. If I had to give up tying flies or fishing them, I'd give up fishing them first. I was a bit suprised.

    My most prized catch is a tiny Cuttthroat I took from a tributary of the Cedar when I was very young. The creek comes out of a swamp and drops over a steep cliff where it enters the Cedar. Unless that fish had wings, it and its kin have been isolated in the 4-6 miles of creek since the last ice age. I imagine the creek is devoid of fish by now (gotta build home ya know).

    My home waters now (after College and hitching up to Walla Walla native) is Walla Walla, WA. Lots of neat, small streams. None of which are as Blue ribbon as my buddy Skip wants them to be :) He's still having Colorado flashbacks (he guided there for a bit). This is a good place to live. Good weather, no traffic and bearable tourism. House prices are nuts, but I got in early so that's not my problem.

    I can fish year 'round and (more importantly) so can my kids. Though they don't like the cold. And there are days I can fish with no company if I choose to do so. I'm not naming my home waters :thumb:

    My heart still beats for Winter on the GR. I came to being as a steelheader in the miserable cold of winters on the GR. It's always special to me for that reason. It's why I still go back. My first fly rod steelhead (6 lb buck) came to a SolDuc spey on the GR. Still have the fly.
     
  14. Mingo

    Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

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    Do your friends call you The Cruiser? Were you in the movie 'Stripes'?













    :clown:
     
  15. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Age 33. Grew up in Portland Oregon. Got my undergrad in Forestry/Biology at the University of Montana. Moved to the Panhandle of Idaho 3.5 years ago. I live in a cabin butted up against the Selkirk mountians--my two kids; boy 1.5, girl almost 5-- love it. I'm the Probation officer for the county I live in now, and am also pursuiing my masters degree from LCSC. I love steelhead and the Grateful Dead. :D
     
  16. 1morecast

    1morecast Active Member

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    I have been a fish head since I was 7 or 8 yrs.old, for a total of 44 yrs, the last 28 yrs with a flyrod. The first time I fished was an outing with the cub scouts in a pond in the fooothills. I was catching bluegills on a cane rod with meal worms. One of the other scouts had a zebco outfit (the push button reel) he let me use for awhile. I was casting a Hula Popper along a weed line when a nice largemouth bass came up and exploded on my topwater lure !! Of course I had no Idea what I was doing but I did manage to land the fish!! I knew then that I was hooked. I started to read everything I could get my hands on from the local Library about fishing, and talked my parents into getting me a subscription to Outdoor Life Magazine. I was also fourtunate that my father who did not fish, would get up at 5 in the morning on his day off to take me up to some mountain lake or stream to fish. He would just sit on a rock with his book while I fished.

    I then moved to So. Calif. where I discovered SW fishing. Spent a few years chasing tuna and billfish and started making the Long Range trips out of San Diego. About this time (late70s) a coworker talked me into a trip for some troutfishing on the East Walker river. He gave me an old bamboo rod that he wrapped himslef, a sz. 4 black wolly bugger with some split shot, and a quick casting lesson. After two days of thrashing the water I finally hooked and landed a nice 14 inch brown. I was Hooked!!

    In 1988 I found myself spending more time in the Sierras fly fishing, so I took a transfer and moved to Reno. In the next 6 yrs I had the privilage of fishing all the great water in the area as well as some Steelhead fishing with gear in Nothern Calif. Around 91 I started to tye my own flies.

    After my divorce in 92 I moved again, this time to Missoula. Man what a treat! The trout fishing was awsome!! In September of 92 after hearing about Clearwater Steelhead,I made which was to become one of many trips over Lolo Pass. It took a few trips but in Late October I landed my first steelhead on a flyrod!! Those of you who are steelheaders know the rest! Over the years I had caught some nice fish but- that first steelhead that took my sz. 4 greenbutt skunk on a dry line,just ruined me!!!LOL In 96 I was transfered to Bozeman. Even there I found myself thinking of steelhead. I started making trips out to the OP for winter runs. Long way too drive only to have the rivers blow out while you are there. So this year my wife and I decided to move to Port Angeles. And here I am in Steelhead heaven!!

    I found WFF around two years ago. It was great to be able to view the pics of steelhead and the flies used to catch them, not to mention the valuable info gained from reading the forums.
    :beer2:
     
  17. BlueCrop

    BlueCrop eat more fruit

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    I grew up fishing the south end of Bainbridge Island for mudsharks and bullhead using treble-hooks & bacon. In high-school, I grabbed my dad's fly-rod from the garage and slid the kayak into the water. I did some sloppy casts (like I was putting out a fire with a wet blanket) and caught no less than a half-dozen blackmouth my first time out. From that day on, I would cast almost every night off the bulkhead or from the kayak. This was the early 80's and I had never seen (or noticed, anyway) a flyfisherman along that beach in the 17 years I lived there.

    Wish I had a romantic story about my dad or grandfather teaching me to fish. When I fished with my dad, I'd spend hours watching him unravel backlashes. I don't recall having line in the water. Suppose fishing wasn't really the point anyway - I just loved spending time with the old man. My dad owned boats and canneries in Alaska and frankly, I think salmon were a source of stress for him.

    I went to college at UC Boulder and became a rock-climbing addict - no fishing at all.

    When I graduated in 1990, I moved to southern Chile to help start an agri-business company. To earn extra money I was a rafting guide and that's when I got involved in fly-fishing again. Those were some great years.

    Moved back to Bainbridge and met my wife who worked for Streamline, right down the street from Sage on Day Road. She also ran fly-casting clinics. I met her at the Harbour House Pub where I did open-mic's. We did a lot of beach fishing together and because I had never had formal instruction, she taught me how to properly cast a fly. She broke me of bad habits (casting and otherwise).

    We now live in the Mt. Vernon area and fly-fish the S Rivers up here 2-3times/month but enjoy taking my kids bottom fishing simply because it's guaranteed they'll get something on. Wish I had known about Point Wilson Darts as a kid, sure saves on bacon.

    I'm still a fruit trader, globally buying and selling frozen fruit and work for a farming & processing operation. I've become 'serious' about fly-fishing the last 8-10 years and go every opportunity I can get. As I write this, I realize that the more 'serious' I have gotten about fly-fishing, the less fish I actually catch. I caught far more fish flailing the rod around on Bainbridge as a teenager and in Chile than I have since that time. Now, I have a decent cast and all the right gear (a quiver of Sage rods, Lamson reels, etc.) but have fewer productive days on the water.
     
  18. rick matney

    rick matney Active Member

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    Joined the forum a few months ago to get in touch with some guys I fished with.

    I'm almost 26, born and raised in southern BC/ northeastern washington. Started out flyfishing at about 4. Grandpa and dad taught me. Grew up in the outfitting industry. Currently a fishing and hunting guide and realestate agent in montana. Graduated with cell biology and nueroscience dregree as well as an organismal biology dregree from montana state university. Father owns Three Lakes Flyfishing, brother is a hunting guide in Alaska. One sister in real estate in Colorado, one is a EMT in Conneticut. Both fish.

    I fish over 200 days a year if you count guiding. Steelhead nut, salt junkie, and I like catching anything I can on a fly rod. Shock and awe! I am a streamer fisherman at heart, the bigger the better! :)
    I do a lot of instructional classes and seminars over the winter at fly shows and expos, and plow snow when it snows.

    Still a punk after all these years. Gave up a fully paid position in the hunting industry with BowTech becuase it would cut into my fishing time. Love to go International and travel. If any of this doesn't work out then I am moving to mexico and becoming a bull fighter!

    That's about it, besides kokanee beer is the beer, vodka red bull is the drink, olive is the greatest color on earth. :beer2:
     
  19. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Only waders I've ever owned that leaked EVERY time I wore them. Repaired 4 or 5 times. Leaked first time out every time. Sent new waders 3 different times and they leaked out of the box every time. Other than that they were sweet!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    38 year old fishaholic. Steelhead are always the #1 priority but will lower my standards and fish for other species when needed. Caught my first steelhead on the fly in '91 or '92.
     
  20. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman is tired of trout

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    By the time I was 12, I had lived in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Sunnyvale, CA; Mesa and Tempe, AR; and Auburn, AL. I have distant memories of fishing all of those places, and my parents took us camping to some amazing places that I got to fish, too. No one in my family fishes, nor cares about my fishing. I would just wander off with my little spinning rod. In Auburn, I fished the pond behind my house every day for bass and carp. I was 10 when I was attacked by coydogs, but since I’ve always fished alone, no one was there to see it, and no one ever believed me. My parents then moved us to the sprawling suburbs of Boston. There was no water to be found anywhere, just sidewalks. I picked up skateboarding and the Dead Kennedys, and a punk was born.

    But a driver’s license and my restored ’64 Karmann Ghia would change that. I was still living at home when I was 19, and had by then completely fallen in love with fly fishing. I read everything I could get my hands on. It was 1992, the year of the “movie”. Suddenly, flyshops were opening everywhere, more and more waters became “known” and I could find them. My parents were nagging me to go to college and I remember pointing to a picture of the lower Clark Fork in Fly Rod and Reel. They rolled their eyes, and for the next four years I was allegedly at the University of Montana. More realistically, I was on the Missouri or chasing steelhead in states west, (the UofM had many generations of troutbums before me, and will have many after Zen. . .). Unfortunately, I passed my classes and they graduated me.

    I moved back east after seeing an article about fishing for stripers in the surf. I got my first job working with kids in Biddeford, ME. If you know that town, you just said “fuckin’ shithole” to yourself. I worked with teenage female sex offenders, fun stuff. Three day weekends and my shift also allowed me to fish every sun up and sun down. Seven days a week of doublehauling into the ocean for bass. I learned that there is only one thing that sucks about striper fishing: the season is wicked short. But then I learned about the Salmon River in New York. My god, if ever DFW and the Army Corps got it right re: managing a fishery, this was it! By then, I was working at a private therapeutic boarding school; I had three day weekends, 8 weeks paid vacation, and absolutely no respect for the binding agreements between me and my credit cards. I fished non-stop.

    In 2001, I was back in Montana with a great job at a renowned boarding school. Working with kids totally floats my boat. I was fishing the Beaverhead when the Trade Towers fell. I was approaching 30 years, and I was finding some balance in my life for the first time. I didn’t need to fish as much. Three years ago, I bought some land on top of a mountain and slowly began building a home. I made the timbers myself and it’s a straw bale insulated home. I went a year without fishing, and I was perfectly happy.

    Seven months ago, I moved here. I was given a “job” to look after a young schizophrenic that I have known for a couple years now. He’s doing fantastic, so there’s not much for me to do. I fish a lot, but I miss “home” and will probably move back to Kalispell this summer.
    I’ve known it for years, but somehow I have a hard time weaning myself: there is a such thing as too much of a good thing. When I was younger, if you had told me that I would spend my life chasing fish, I would have been ecstatic. Now, I’m at an age where I can realize how silly that is. It’s just fishing. It’s not important. No one’s impressed. Maturity will be measured in how we can look back and realize how dumb we were when we were younger. Til then, here's to immaturity! :beer2:
     

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