Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Yes it's true, I am 46 years old today! Getting over a cold, so it wasn't a particularly awesome birthday. Worked most of the day, hung out with little dude for a bit and got caught up on Homeland this evening. The fact that it has been one year since I have had any nicotine was not lost on me either. I've been working on that one for 25 years or so, so I think that has been the most notable change in the last year.

Life is good, actually. I have a great family, live in a great place, have good friends, and get to 'live the dream." None of that is lost on me, and I am grateful for it all.

Spent last weekend over in Anaconda. Stayed at Fairmont and skied Disco one day. It was actually pretty fun couple of days with my wife and little googan. I slipped away for a few hours of fishing on Monday morning, over on the Clarks Fork. I went to an old honey hole that I hadn't really hit with much dedication in 15 years or so. I have been there a time or two over the recent years, but fished it more to fish than to catch fish.

However, I wanted to catch some fish on Monday. I recently bought an older Sage off Craigslist in New Hampshire. Yeah, I know that sounds ridiculous. The SP + was only out for a few years, they had issues with breakage and being to stiff...breaking a lot of tippets. Still, it was the first, truly FAST action fly rod that I ever wiggled and I wanted one really bad but didn't have the money for it. This was back in the mid-late 90's. The feeling stuck with me and I have looked for one here and there over the years, with mild curiosity. Well, I found one when I was looking for one and got it done.

I took it with me to the old honey hole, rigged up some little bitties and had that feeling that everything was right with the world. I fished a couple of hours, didn't touch a fish. I even tried. I even changed flies, weight, and tippet. Sometimes I fish and don't catch but a few, but know that I could have gotten them if I tried. Not Monday...not a grab. The only other angler there came down and we chatted a bit, compared rigs (worm and hare's ear). I told him that I had no luck, he told me he had been getting them...just released a 24"er...

I know that I must be getting old now. I would have never told that story a few years ago...but I probably would have gotten all the fish back then. Yes it's true...mark it on your calendar, put it in the diary...Toby Swank got worked over on a trout stream in Montana on February 20, 2017.

There is a first for everything.

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