My Very Own Honkytonk Fly Ride

I saw this picture and one thought came to mind:

Ooh, I need this rig in Montana to pull my boat!

rod rod rv

Now despite many years of failed attempts, I still harbor this fantasy of spending a summer in Montana totally under-the-radar. Just fishing and minding my own business and staying out of the fray. I realize this vehicle wouldn’t do much to help me in that personal goal…

…but who freaking cares! It’s badass!

To be clear, I am not a car person. I do not know one thing about cars. But I do have a history of making bad decisions where flyfishing vehicles are concerned. You see a long time ago I was in Craig with some friends and a touch overserved in Hookers (which is now Izaaks.) I just started blabbing about how cool it would be to have an old Carolina blue Cadillac. Go Heels. Just made it up off the top of my head, for no good reason.

Well, the very next day I was driving through Helena and saw one for sale. No lie, I have witnesses to my accidental drunken prophecy as well as the discovery of the car the very next day. Clearly it was meant to be my fishing car. A four-door Tarheel blue 1966 Sedan DeVille. Go Heels! I got for my 30th birthday — against the wishes of every member of family, including my then-husband. Financed at the ATM in the Helena Safeway. $1000 cash.

me & the caddy At one time this Cadillac was a thing of glory. I would jet along the banks of the Missouri River, fly rods hanging out the back window, racing from one fishing spot to the next.

It was a foot too long to fit in my parents’ garage so I kept it in the neighbor’s barn for a few years. Unfortunately the horses kicked it around a bit and ate some paint off the hood. Eventually the neighbors needed the space in their barn so I had it hauled to Texas where it’s been in dry dock ever since.

Lest you think I did the predictably Texas thing and welded some Longhorns to the hood, let me refute that assumption. The situation is far worse and much more white-trash than that.

A few years ago I used the trunk as a cooler and filled it with ice and beer at my birthday party. Since then, the latch won’t stayed closed so if a light wind blows the trunk just pops up. It was making me crazy so I ventured out to a shed I apparently have (I’ve set foot in that gnarly shed only two times in the past seven years) and grabbed a pair of Longhorns to weigh down the trunk.

Every so often someone offers to buy it. My non-redneck voice starts to speak clearly and vociferously about how insane it is for me to keep this car. Besides the fact that it looks utterly vile in my driveway and my daughter is getting old enough to be embarrassed when her friends come over, I know I should be thinking about my mortgage and my taxes and PTA meetings and clients and my aging dog who has cancer and fixing up my backyard and getting my life in better order.

You know, all those age-appropriate albatrosses.

But just as I am ready to pay to have the damn thing hauled off, I think about how fun it was to cruise alongside the river on a sunny day looking at rising fish through a haze of tricos. How fun to race through those river towns with my wading boots dripping all over the floorboards and my windows down and the AM radio hopping from The Bee Gees to Loretta Lynn to pure static.

I’ve said goodbye to many things in my life but I just can’t seem to adios this ole fishing ride. Even though I’ve totally let it go, I’m nowhere close to letting go.


Go Tarheels…

16 Responses to “My Very Own Honkytonk Fly Ride”
  1. Dave - SLF says:

    As one who had a Corvair (along with several project motorcycles) sitting in his backyard for about six years , I can relate. The same backyard was eventually put to use as a wedding location , so the projects all had to go away. Can’t say that I miss having those unfinished projects hanging over my head, but surely one needn’t go so far as getting married…

  2. I am old enough to have bought and sold numerous vehicles over the years, many of which I truly wish I had not sold. Often storage-as you found-is more of an issue than the money you might get for it (or have to pay to have it hauled off). Some day when the daughter is raised and gone, think of how much you will miss romanticizing about the blue bomber. And how convenient it will be to be able to look for rattlesnakes on the road as you peer through the rusted out floor below your feet.

  3. Kentucky Jim says:

    This is a remarkable vehicle. Having been built at the dawn of the neo-conservative/new left emergence, it is seriously lacking in sufficient chrome or fins. However, it does appear to weigh about 3,000 pounds, and probably gets about 8 miles to the gallon. Save for its hard top (a problem easily solved with an acetylene torch), it would be just the car for Hunter Thompson to take his attorney friend on a short, uneventful trip to Las Vegas.

  4. WT says:

    It’s as if the Blues Brothers had a little sister. I bet your kid brags about how cool her mom is.

  5. Jim@FFO says:

    Be careful where you keep the keys to that beast. If I were lil’ chick, I’d be lookin’ at that thing as just desserts at the age of 16. Couldn’t find a safer ride, either. I can see some rice burnin’, non-longhorn wearin’, honda just bouncing off the bumper of that monster. Until you’ve hood surfed off of a solid piece of Detroit Iron, you haven’t lived.
    I’ve been riding the range of SW ohio in the 98 Outback I got just before my son was born. It’s been all downhill from there. Between all the poopin’ and peein’ and pukin’ my kids (and fishin’ buddies) have been doing, in that ole’ green wreck, I’d say it’s just about broke in. My kayak fits on top (and matches the paint color beautifully, btw). I can put a fully assembled 10′ steelhead rig in from the back and still shut the hatch. Wifey want’s me to get rid of it but the kids and fishin’ buddies would just trash a new one, so I’m soldiering on with ole’ Greenie.

  6. Alabama flygirl says:

    Wow…I bet that beast will fly! If you filled that big ass trunk with beer for your birthday then there were a lotta drunk folks at that party. Those old car trunks are monstrous! Great car…I say keep it. All of that metal would keep lil chick safe when she turns 16!

  7. I’m blown away that yall love the caddy so much. with this great feedback, not only am I going to keep it…think we might have to fix ‘er up sooner rather than later

    WT — of course I’m swooning from your glowing remarks. blues brothers lil sister….how you do go on…

    I wish I were that cool. the car is so damn long and unwieldy that I probably look a lot less blues brothers and a lot more golden girls — although that’s just when I’m backing up. on a straightaway I might look a tad fetching in it….

  8. Parker S. Allie says:

    Great story but this wouldn’t be a bad choice to roll in while in Montana either…

  9. Parker S. Allie says:

    dadgum…I tried to embed this picture. I guess it didn’t work. Here’s the link…

    This just lost a lot of momentum. Don’t change.

  10. Harry says:

    Now if you can just get somebody to “steal” the old boat and get the guys at Overhaulin to work their magic on the beast you could have a reel classic. (sorry about the lousy pun)

  11. margaret says:

    my hope is that one day you will toss aside all the albatrosses, and jump in ole blue and head back to montana. you still have the helena liscense plate, girlfriend.
    craig misses you!

  12. Dash says:

    Sweet ride! My wife`had one just like it when we first met. You should fix ‘er up.

  13. margaret says:

    or is it a him?
    i am passionate about a 58 international 3/4 ton pick up. it proudly wears a craig trout camp sign.
    his name is cyrus mc,his plate tells us.

  14. Schlauchboot says:

    Hey, very interesting post.

    My written English is not so good so I write in German:

    “Lieber den Spatz in der Hand, als die Taube auf dem Dach.”

    Yours sincerely

  15. Longhorns on the trunk…brilliant. Keep her and breathe new life into her as you are able…you won’t regret it. She was clearly meant to be yours for life, considering the story of how you found her.

  16. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing such a story. Im sure your children will brag about how cool their mom is.


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