Monday, March 14, 2016
I promised myself a year ago that I would only share content on my blog that was valuable, and would not simply write a blog post to drive up views. As you can tell my number of posts has gone down dramatically but I feel the content has increased (Check my FB or Instagram if you want the random fish pic).
This video was something I couldn't simply share on Facebook without a little more detail. Winston and Twin Bridges are inextricably linked, and both for good reason. This video gives insight into what a world class rod maker is all about, and the story that it tells is brief but important. Obviously Twin benefits tremendously from having Winston, but the opposite is true too. As I transition from boat paddler to desk jockey and economic developer, I spend as much time talking about business location as I do trout patterns, and to see a business like this strategically located in such an amazing spot is incredible. Twin Bridges has been home for my wife and kids for nearly 8 years now, and it's very cool to show off a little bit of it in video format. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 31, 2015
It's very difficult to not write a year end post in 100% cliche's but 2015 disappeared in a hurry. I looked back at my 2014 wrap-up post and I vowed to write less bullshit, and accomplished it. With all of the other avenues out there to get your opinion online I'll be interested to see how much longer blogs have any impact. I know the ones I get jacked to read dwindle every year. So, that being said, thank you so much for those of you that do come here and read what I periodically throw up. It means a lot to me.
Like last year's 4 for 2014 here's 5 of my favorite pics from 2015.
|Lat but certainly not least, the highlight of 2015, Michael William.|
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015
|Not that much different than a gold bar.|
So for those of you who don't know almost three years ago I cut my guiding back to part time and started working as an economic development planner for a company out of Butte. Since then, I have definitely developed a passion for economic development (certainly not a passion that would rival fishing) and am fascinated by the dollars that fishing brings to my region of Montana, and particularly the juxtaposition between fishing/guiding and agriculture in a valley that is constantly yearning for more water.
I was fortunate enough to sit on the Upper Missouri Basin planning update process a couple of years ago, and helped to form a water plan for the Upper Missouri which included everything from my part of the world (Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby, Madison) to just past Great Falls and Fort Benton. One of the big takeaways I got from the economic development side was talking to fellow ED Planners from the lower river, who had no concept of use of water for recreation. To them, and obviously the bulk of the irrigators, water was something to be consumed. This consumptive use was something that those of us in the upper part of the valley, and as a minority the anglers, had to work to combat in the plan. While there is certainly a need for consumptive use, the value of non-conusumptive uses are tremendous and renewable.
Today I opened up The Chum, and saw this interesting article on the economic impacts of fishing throughout the country. I quickly scrolled though the states I was interested in and came to Montana. $350 million spent statewide directly on fishing, spread amongst 350,000 anglers, so about $1000 an angler (I know I did more than my part). One of the most interesting facts I learned at the Upper Missouri meetings was that approximately 50% of angling in the state occurs in the the Upper Missouri (including Big Hole, Beaverhead, Madison, Jefferson, Gallatin). Combine those two pieces of data and you have $175 million dollars spent in our area directly on fishing. Even with more conservative number (lets do 25%) thats still $87.5 million! Obviously this is a very simple overview, but certainly enough to get my brain working.
So, why is that important? In case you haven't noticed we aren't quite packing away the snow every year like we used to 100 years ago. And with temps increasing and water decreasing, the demand for such a precious resource increases dramatically every year. When it comes down to thinner and thinner years, and more difficult decisions are to be made, being able to show where the dollars go, and more importantly where they come from, is what decision makers are going to be focused on. It's great to see that the conservation efforts that take place don't go to waste, and that there is some real economic value to leaving water in our rivers.
Part 2 of my very simplistic economic study is going to be Washington's coast. We all know the best financial use of steelhead is not dragging them out of the river in a gill net and shipping them to Pikes Place.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
For the longest time I never bothered tying intricate steelhead flies. They eat a piece of bunny or flash just as well, and catching them is the fun part, right? I was young and frankly happy anytime I hooked one that didn't involve a bobber.
During the time that I didn't get it, I was fishing every day, guiding all the time, and viewed fancy flies as getting in the way of time I could be fishing. Now that I sit here and write this post across from my daughter and her play-dough, with another kid sleeping in a swing in the other room, knowing that i will only have 5 days to go steelhead fishing this spring, I understand. Taking time to put the feathers exactly where they should go, pulling material off when it's not perfect and geeking out to the point of OCD makes sense, when time at the desk is easy to come by and time on the river is tough. It is through tying that I stay connected, think about the fish I've caught on each different pattern and color, and am reminded why these fish are so special.
Monday, November 16, 2015
|Nice to see this bridge without barbwire and no-tresspassing signs all over it.|
Step 1: Find the river you want to fish. This would be a river that is legally navigable and allowed for recreation. This includes most big rivers, and many small rivers, such as the Ruby. I would highlight recommend one that has fish in it as well. Don't
Step 2: If there is not a giant public parking spot (which are good to launch boats from and suck to fish at anyways) find a bridge. By state-law there is a 60' right-of-way. This means that when combined with the high-watermark of the river, you can get in and go fishing!
Step 3: Go Fishing! Keep your feet wet (below the high-water mark, wet feet is the easiest way to do this if it's a small river), don't litter, and don't trespass. Thankfully, Montana isn't some dumb-ass state like Colorado or Wyoming where you can own the bottom of the river. Public land and water in Montana can be (Gasp!) used by the public. Be thankful that we have a Supreme Court who believes in public access and public land.
Note: In no way do I condone trespassing, which would surely not help the case of the phenomenal stream access laws we have in this state. Be courteous of the landowners who are generous with access, don't litter, and don't be a cox. Also, think about where you donate those precious dollars to conservation. The juxtaposition of DU's "conservation" and willingness to bend to one donor is frustrating, and certainly makes me think about the conservation organizations I give to.