Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Non-traditional fishing dogs

Ruby soaking it up on the Upper Big Hole
It might as well be Montana state law that when you live here with a drift boat, you have a lab named after a river, fly rod company, insect or some other more obscure fishing term.  I have one, Rooster has half a dozen, and there is no shortage of labs running around the banks of every Montana trout stream.  Occasionally though you see a dog that looks a little out of place in the back seat of a Clack, but still having the time of their life.  I'm talking about the small, fuzzy and just plain different fishing dogs out there.  I know that Matt at The Crippled Herring  has a Chihuahua that gets in the boat, and the guys at Moldy Chum have a terrier named pirate following them around as well. We have a rat terrier (lives up to the breed name) named Ruby who loves a sunny day in the skiff.  At 5lbs she is about the size of a nice brown trout, but much more aggressive than a brown of her poundage.  Small dogs certainly have their place, and here are 5 of the benefits of bring a purse dog on the boat.
5lbr in the net
1.  No interest in swimming.  While my lab jumps around like a foul hooked whitey in the water, Ruby much prefers the comfort of a sun baked boat seat, and might not even jump in if we were capsizing.
2.  Less broken rods:  The number of rods broken by clumsy big dogs sent in to Scott, Sage, and Winston each year is probably equal to triple the amount of labs named after those companies. And about half of the fly shops I have been to have a dog named Sage.
3.  Balance:  A five pound rat dog leaning on your gunnel does not affect rowing, a 60 pound lab does.
4. Space:  At 5 pounds, Ruby is easy to hide under the bow, and her kennel fits in the boat.
5.  Happiness:  While my lab often time has the energy of a 5 year old on Mt. Dew, Ruby is so happy scared to just be with us instead of left at home, that she lounges around the boat like she owns the thing.
Eye to eye
If you've got a non-traditional dog you fish with, shoot me a pic (joewillauer@gmail.com) and I'll throw it on here and send you some stickers.

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