I grew up in a river town. A place where a mechanic on his lunch break could pull a couple brook trout out of the seams, and some of the best casts came from shoulders overworked by sawmills. Missoula is far from that. It’s a town that sees trout bums year in, year out lined up at the bar with the rest of the bums: ski bums, art bums, music bums, poets, hippies, rednecks, grad students (degree bums), movers and shakers, and everything in between. On the Clark Fork, you’re ten times more likely to see a college kid with a brown trout buff standing in your hole than you are the guy that spent all morning feeding two thousand drum sticks through a wood copy lathe. And you’re even more likely than that to run into a happy family on a boat during the summer, enjoying the long sunny days and cool river water. Missoula may be bigger than it’s britches most days, but it’s where we call home for a reason. Few places have as much access to the wild, and 24-hour convenience stores as well. As the old joke goes, “Missoula’s nice, it’s only a half hour from Montana.” We wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to the river town, and to a Throwback Thursday going right to the center of it – the Clark Fork as it rolls through Missoula, Montana on a quiet summer morning.
|School’s out for summer. Once runoff ends and the hills turn green, the Clark Fork settles into a beautiful routine.|