Throwback Thursday: The Crowds Thin for Fall

As winter rolls on, most Missoula trout bums are getting the skis out, heading to warmer climates, and marking their calendars for skwala days. Winter is just getting started around here, and any fishing seems like good fishing from behind the vise while the heater chugs on. But when the season is dragging on into the dog days of summer, its the solitude of late fall that gets the blood pumping to toss the 4-weight in the boat and find some backwater sippers waiting. It might be just a little over our shoulder these days, but today’s Throwback Thursday is all about the empty waters as school gets underway and the day jobs and hunting seasons start picking away at the boat traffic. Getting out there early is a chilly affair, and that wader leak you should’ve patched before tossing them in the gear box at the beginning of wet wading season has found a way to fill your boot before you know it, but damn is it worth it when you toss the tiny stuff and feel the line go tight. For the heads in the fly shops, the shuttle bums, and the working guides it’s finally a chance to get some fishing in for themselves, and it’s just in time because fall is A game time. It’s a long way off from December, but the thought of another fall in western Montana is enough to keep me tying mayflies all winter long. Here’s to fall fishing, and a Throwback Thursday to the rewards of a long season – slow rowing down the Clark Fork picking off fish and taking your time.

After a long season making sure guide’s trucks are where they should be at the end of the day, Court Hadden gets some alone time down on the lower Clark that makes it worth every damn shuttle. 

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