Or in this case, Ben Romans.
The Professor and I first bumped into Ben Romans summer before last in The Melrose Bar after a day of fishing on The Big Hole. We didn’t chat that night but in a small-world twist of fate we ran into his buddy the next day on the river – and then again at the Glen Bar. Somehow contact info was exchanged and I presume ultimately passed along to Ben, because a few days later I received a call from Ben Romans.
Ben, who lives in Boise Idaho, is an avid outdoorsman, blogger and published author. We had a fun conversation about fishing and blogging and fishing blogging. I explained we were in a bit of a rush, loading up and heading out the door to roadtrip over to the Henry’s Fork.
Ironically, he was too.
It really is pretty funny how the whole thing fell into place but quite organically we messaged back and forth with Ben from the road and met him that evening for a drink at the Trouthunter in Last Chance Idaho. What a great guy!
The Professor and Ben spent most of the evening discussing the Jefferson River. Ben tipped us off that he was in the process of writing a book about Montana rivers which of course captured our attention. We have been waiting eagerly for the hardcopy version of Ben’s talent and expertise to be in print.
At long last it is!
Last month on my birthday – somewhere between cracking open the wine and popping the question, the Professor gave me a copy of Ben Romans book, Montana’s Best Fly Fishing. Here I am about to open it…
Hilarious in retrospect. Of course I had no clue The Professor had a diamond ring burning a hole in his pocket. So when I opened Ben’s book I was thrilled and took ample time pouring through the pages, looking up different rivers. It was out of character that the Professor was sort of rushing me along. I was quite impressed with the graphics of the hatch charts per river and was complimenting them in detail, looking up one after the next. “Look how great these hatch charts are?”
“Yeah yeah, great hatch charts,” rushed the Professor as he was moving me on to the next gift.
But then I found the lovely and meaningful inscription he wrote in the front and started tearing up. Lovingly but bluntly he cut me off, “You cannot start crying at the book!”
We have laughed endlessly about that moment of dramatic irony. No crying about the fishing book when an engagement ring was about 15 minutes away. Hey, I didn’t know.
Nonetheless, this book is something special. Ben is a great guy but also a wildly accomplished angler and outdoorsman. The book is literally loaded with useful information, not to mention very well-written. Maps, photos, and of course…handy hatch report charts.
Montana’s Best Fly Fishing is a true guide for fishing as well as practical strategies for creating meaningful relationships with the rivers of Montana. Simply put, Ben is the man and he’s spelled it all out for us all to know his secrets. I have it packed in my carry-on because we are heading back to the 406 tomorrow for a few days of fall fishing.
And after all, when in Montana do as Ben Romans do.