Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Business & Pleasure

It's about this time of year, when the rivers in MT become increasingly fishable, that my job as a traveling ad salesman takes on a whole new appeal. As the days lengthen and there is daylight both before and after business hours, it's easy to mix business and pleasure. Here's an example of my work/play schedule the past few days...if I'm lucky the lines between the two really blur.

4/11 - Hit the Stillwater River with Bruce Whittenberg, owner of MT Troutfitters in Bozeman and an advertiser in MSJ. We found the river off color with little more than a foot of visibility, but as Bruce said, "It is what it is" and so we fished. We even managed to catch a few trout on a variety of flashy streamers, nymphs and even dries. Some nice BWO and March brown hatches were coming off, but rises were practically non-existent in the stained water.

4/12 - Got up early, packed my fishing gear and business attire and made the drive north to Lewistown where I met up with Jay for an MSJ photo shoot for the Cooper Rifle review in our upcoming issue...what a beautiful and accurate rifle! Big Spring Creek was high and off, but fortunately there is yet another substantial spring creek nearby, this one flowing clean and clear. We both caught a few rainbows on dries amidst some decent hatches. We were both frustrated by a couple of good size rainbows that eluded us.

4/13 - Had a meeting in the morning in Lewistown and then was on my way to Livingston. Midway, at Harlow, I decided to detour west and fish the Mussellshell...it's always intrigued me. The river was very off color, with less than a foot of visibility. For various reasons I stayed and fished anyway. After working my way through my streamer box I finally found the ticket and landed a couple of nice browns. I'll be interested to check out this stretch of river this summer and see how it fares once irrigation outflows begin. After my "lunch break" on the river I was back on the road with a stop in Livingston and then onto Chico Hot Springs. After business was taken care of I fished the last hour of daylight on the Yellowstone below a brilliantly lit Emigrant Peak, there was nowhere I'd rather have been...except maybe soaking in the hot springs back at the historic lodge.

4/14 - Awoke early to find a couple of inches of snow on the lawn outside Chico and steady snowfall. Knowing that I had to negotiate the pass en route to appointments in Bozeman that morning I quickly got dressed and on the road. I had hoped to wet a line briefly in the morning around the mouths of the PV spring creeks and again on the way home that evening on the Boulder, but the winter weather suggested otherwise. It was all about business today.

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