One Week Removed

I’ve been meaning to get this post up since last Sunday. Given that my friends out east are getting dumped on with snow, I figure it’s only fitting that they see what February in Montana — a state people usually cringe over when they imagine what winter delivers — can look like. At least a week ago it looked like this, at least via iPhone.

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It was a rare, sunny, nearly-40 degree weekend. Dudes were out fly fishing on the Clark Fork. I even saw one guy cruising up and down on a SUP. Saturday night the guys from Strongwater were out on the waves just beyond Higgins on their surfboards until dark. Sunday I snapped a shot of this dude about to get after it. He commented on the FC cap I was wearing; I forgot I had it on. I scored it when I visited the shop in Ventura last fall.

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Saturday night I parked the truck in the lot beside the river, right next to the Boone and Crockett Club, then walked over the bridge to the Wilma, as Julia and I had tickets to see the Fly Fishing Film Tour. I couldn’t believe the line! It wrapped a full block down the street, around the corner, and another half block. And this was twenty minutes after the doors opened. One would expect lots of guys in ball caps — and there were — but there were also a surprising number of women (Missoula draws the most women of any event on the tour, the MC said; yeah Missoula!). A guy I follow on Instagram named Dan took this shot from his position in line.

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I got in about 6:45, and it started at 7:00. Julia worked until 7:00, then joined me. Given there were still people filing in, the festivities started a little late, which was fine with me. The event was sold out, which means maybe 1000, 1200 people? It was fantastic. Great films (“Over a thousand drunk dudes screaming for fish” I heard one woman describe it), great enthusiasm, a raucous crowd . . . just a lot of fun. I will definitely return next year. If you are a fan of the outdoors at all, the event comes highly recommended by me. An excellent, inspiring evening of a beautiful weekend.

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

8 thoughts on “One Week Removed”

  1. I haven’t heard of the fly fishing film tour… is that kind of like the Warren Miller’s ski films, but tamer? First of April (opening of trout season here in MI) is sneaking up on us.

    1. I’d say it’s similar to the Warren Miller stuff (speaking of whom, there was a neat little write-up on him in a recent issue of Men’s Journal or something like that; he’s living in Big Sky, MT). It’s basically a collection of short little films — I think there were 5 or 6 — related to fly fishing. Very well done, very entertaining.

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