Even the airport feels like a fishing lodge. Heavy wood beams accented by black iron hardware. All framed the mountains staring through giant windows. I instantly felt at home.
We were in the Gallatin River within a few hours. A swift, clear stretch just minutes from the bar where we fueled up on Kokanee and burgers. John and Reeves threw spinners. I casted dry flies.
Only a few small trout rose moved but I wasn’t disappointed. Everything about that little fishing hole amazed me. The rocky floor. Undercut banks punished by spring run-off. Mountains in the distance. Everything was so familiar and totally different at the same time.
We sat around the beer cooler after a couple of hours. Holding a cold Coors. Standing in the colder river. Anticipating the next four days. A few jokes. A few more casts. Then Reeves claimed first catch of the trip with a little Montana brown trout.
Back in Bozeman the laid-back resort town feel was replaced with the electricity of a college party. Dreadlocks and short-shorts. Solo cups and Bluegrass. The hostess at the pizza place explained “Music on Main”. A weekly street party thrown every Thursday night all summer long.
I’m still not sure why I ever left.
Photo Credits: Some are mine. Some are B. Reeves at http://www.flickr.com/photos/apollosdad/