Saturday, September 20, 2014
I made my way up to Missoula last night, arriving around 10:00 or so to a dark and quiet house. Strange sensation for me as the home has been hectic ever since my older son came to live with us a month ago. Quietness is under appreciated.
But, i had the chance to watch Alex compete in a Cross Country event this morning here in hippy town near hippy U. There were literally 600 kids in the race he ran in. No idea what place he finished in, but he ran the three miles faster than he ever has before and a lot faster than I could on my best day.
After that, I had the chance to go fishing with Rick. Yeah, the same Rick that opened the fly shop with and and was my main man for several years. He and his wife and their new dog and I fished the Bitterroot and enjoyed a nice day out on the water. The fishing kind of sucked in the conventional ways as the water is low, clear, and the sky was cloudless. But, the trees are changing colors, the weather was amazing, and we found some fish that were eating streamers here and there. Such a pretty river and nice water…hope I only fish it once or twice more this year. Some rivers are better that way.
Threw a double Gonga most of the day and got some 16-19" fish to come out of the brush piles and skinny riffles next to ledges and eat the streamer good.
More importantly, I had the chance to fish with one of the best dudes on the planet and remember to myself how important he has been in my life. He's one of those people that if not for fishing I would have never known. When I first opened to fly shop, I put and ad. out for a shop manager and received something like 75 resumes. It was overwhelming to say the least. I read them all and narrowed it down to 25 or so. Made some calls and narrowed it down to 10 or so. I interviewed most of the remaining and really had a tough choice to make. Of all the people I talked to and interviewed, Rick was the one guy that I knew in my heart was a better, more knowledgable angler than myself and someone that I would be able to count on no matter what. Hiring him was one of the best decisions I ever made and he surpassed all of my expectations. In addition to being a great, dependable employee, he turned out to be the best dry fly angler I've ever fished with and one of the best humans I've ever met. Through a divorce, a shit economy, boring day after boring day those first few winters, he was always there for me …with bells on. I can tell he misses guiding and living the life, but I also know that he sleeps better not worrying about the further after guide season ends. The fly fishing industry and sport need more Ricks. There are lots of anglers, including myself, that are missing out on all it could be without him!
So, today was a good day, full of gratitude for family, work, life, and water.