First week in Montana – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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First week in Montana

My father put rods in our hands about the same time he shoved food in them. In fact, there’s not a whole lot of memories I have with my dad that don’t involve fish. Because of that, he wasn’t too surprised when I called him letting him know I quit my “grown up” job in Seattle and I’m moving to Montana. The fish crazy in my eyes gradually increased over the last 5 years to the point where it’s unrealistic to even think about hiding it. Montana was inevitable.

I finished my two weeks at my job, packed my things and headed home to Utah until the big move. Luckily, I had the chance to spend a lot of time fishing my home waters with dad. I got to reconnect with the waters where I spent countless days and evenings doing what I love most. Dad taught me how to tie this year, and I got to have weekly tie sessions sharing a table and looking back at the memories 20 years ago when I’d sit on his lap watching him tie. Now, beside him, both addicted to this industry with a completely uncontrollable desire to live and breathe fly fishing.

When I got to Utah, we talked of my future, my plans. I showed him my highlighted Montana gazetteer, my list of “challenge flies” and my over pouring Montana goals. High with excitement and eagerness to explore wild Montana.

The day before I moved to Montana we put in one more fishing trip. In the morning we rose early to wade the upper Provo. I had my freshly tied, scuds, zebra midges, princess nymphs (come by and I’ll show you these pretty flies) as well as our favorite copper johns with sexy rubber legs. We fish 5 yards apart and take our sycornizong steps up river. Our pretty flies succeed and we pull out a handful of beautiful fish. Our level of excitement for every strike the same as the first.

The drive home is more talk about Montana and me trying to convince my dad in hopes for him to move with me that the winters aren’t THAT bad. As the trip ends I hug him goodbye, he sends his love and safe travels. The next morning, I crawl into my car packed full of my life, my dog and my future as I drive 7hrs north to my new home.

Fishing the Provo, sections of the Green and Weber for me are dare I say, easy. I know exactly where to go, what to use, where to stand and when to stop. I can close my eyes and see miles of every bend and every glory hole. It’s become a routine that is comfortable and successful. There’s always more to learn and to explore, but I do feel confident in knowing my home waters.

Montana… Doesn’t seem as easy. After being here a week I’m reminded that fishing isn’t always about catching. I’m excited to learn new waters, master the upper, protect these rivers and explore those little blue lines. Fishing is all about the adventure, getting lost, catching and not catching.

My addiction is fed as I continue to get lost in this massive amount of pristine wilderness we have to explore. I’m ready to put in my time, fish hard and yes! Catch big fish. And hope you all are too! It’s easy to get into a routine, so I challenge you to switch it up.

Get lost! Set some goals, hike, hike, hike. And honestly, let’s go explore.

Routines are fun, but set some challenges. Pick a few rivers to find new glory holes on, hike to those mountain lakes, target a new species, travel! Come inand share them with us! It’s going to be a good year, I promise.

1 week down, the rest of my life to go as a Montana girl.

Karlie Roland