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.