Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Contentment without fishing

I'm concerned.

Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe it's that I'm celebrating Christmas a little heartier this year. But I suspect it's mostly that I have a nice alternative to standing in the water in winter - staying at home, snuggled up on the couch with my Christmas cookie. I'm struggling to find the motivation to fish this December.

As life changes, so do fishing habits. Over the past year, my life has beelined for the positive and I am able to find contentment within walls more often. That's a good thing, right?

Looks cold, right? 
While fishing still appeals to me almost daily, once I get to snuggling on the warm couch in front of the glowing cube and some Netflix, motivation goes the way of hot-chocolate steam. If I was ever hardcore, I'm not now.

Especially when it seems boring to go that known hole, drift a known fly down a known seam, and catch a known trout. I could commit to the streamer or Griffith's Gnat to make it interesting, or go try to find a new spot. But winter's not the best time for exploring, and it's so cozy inside...

Go to hell, iced-up guides.
I'm sure I'll still hike up Bear Trap Canyon a time or two, and there's plenty of hope for a trip to $3/Raynolds, LaDuke, Depuy, LOtG, and a few other winter hot spots. But maybe only if it hits 45 degrees instead of my normal threshold of about 20.

Or maybe I'm just overreacting to a couple weeks of contentment without fishing. Or maybe I just needed something about which to blog ;)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Montana celebrity sightings

Fly anglers hear it all the time: "I've always wanted to try fly fishing. It looks so rhythmic/peaceful/poetic... " So when some people get rich and have time, they make a run at it. I would too.

Tom Brokaw getting crocked at the Livingston Rodeo.
And sometimes, these celebrities come to Montana for a taste - and why wouldn't they? Here's a brief list that I've come across from Montana recently.
Tell me who I'm missing! Who've you seen fishing?

Monday, December 2, 2013

The water's fine

There is a rumor that access to Milesnick's spring creeks (Benhart and Thompson) are closing to public access beginning January 1 (which really means November 30 since they close with the Montana general season). The fishing pages on Milesnick's website are down, and the phone number to Milesnick Recreation Company has been disconnected.

C'mon in - the water's fine. 
The Milesnick's are a great family and our community is better off for having them around, no doubt. They have been great stewards of the land and fisheries, and are extremely warm and generous people.
But this is potentially good news for anglers, in my opinion. This does not mean that the creeks are inaccessible - quite the contrary. For whatever reason, when landowners put a rod fee and limit rods on their property, anglers are expected to respect their right to economic opportunity, and not "poach" that otherwise legally accessible water. But if they're discontinuing the rod fees, it de-taboos the idea of hiking to and up them, within the high-water marks. They won't be legally open again until late May.
If you do go, it's of the utmost importance to show the waters the same respect afforded by the Milesnick family. Absolutely stay within the high-water marks (as with anywhere else on private land), treat the fish well, and do your best to leave the resource better than you found it. It's the least we as anglers can do, when afforded such access.
See you there (but not if I see you first!).