On Friday I headed south, up the Bitterroot to see if I could entice some fish to eat. The weather started out beautiful, being almost 50 degrees. I nymphed a nice deep run that I have fished before and didn't even have a strike. The sun left and out of nowhere came a rainstorm from hell. High winds and pelting rain made for miserable conditions. However, I decided to fish the run again, this time with my full sinking line and a streamer. I quickly switched reels and began slowly twitching the streamer through the run. Half way down and I had a fish take right in front of me. I saw a the flash of the fish and I actually had it hooked for a few seconds. The hook pulled out. I got the strike on the GoPro and in the video I just yelled, "God Damnit!" It was actually pretty funny to watch, especially when its yourself who's getting frustrated. I did see a few fish rise for midges and I made some casts to them after switching back to my floating line. They didn't play. Still a good day to be out on the water though.
On the way home I called up one of my Grandpas old friends who happens to live in Stevensville. My grandpa had told me about Bill Bradt, and how he is one of the nicest people I would ever meet. He sure was right.....
I called up Bill and asked if he was busy. He kindly invited me up to his house which lies in the widest part of the Bitterroot Valley. I made the small detour to his beautiful property and had a great conversation with him for about an hour. Bill was as nice as my Grandpa said and I enjoyed talking to him about life in the west. It was wonderful to hear how he had come west in the early stages of his life like me, and he exclaimed, "I never regretted it". I feel the same way. The best part about Bill is his personality. As I talked to him about the rainstorm from hell, he said, "Well as long as you're doing what you love." I've never felt so fortunate to have met a person like Bill, who thinks exactly the way that I do. People out west are just so damn cool!
As I was walking through Bills living room towards the front door to leave, Bill pointed to a trout carving with the initials JU on it. It was comforting to see something that my Grandpa made, all the way out in Montana. Today was a great day.