Last we spoke I was settling into the news about my broken ankle and trying to navigate crutches without killing myself or someone else. (I swear I think crutches are merely an annuity program for orthopedic surgeons.) Despite having to travel through airports in wheelchairs at the mercy of Delta Airline subcontracted employees, some of whom were more trustworthy drivers than others, I actually made it out to Montana for two of the three weeks I’d planned to be out there.
I had to count my blessings. Instead of a plaster cast, the doctor is letting me try a boot cast to heal my ankle. And even though I couldn’t row or wade fish, I was allowed to travel and could prop in the bow of a boat to fish. I’m sure you saw this coming a mile away, but of course I needed a nickname for my new best friend the boot and it came in a flash: Bootsy Collins, named after funkmaster bass guitar player who played with James Brown.
Here is my Bootsy Collins looking equally sexy and badass on his maiden voyage in a driftboat. Our first float on the Big Hole.
Our two days on the Big Hole were tons of fun, despite gale force winds. The second day we outsmarted mother nature and got on the water early enough to beat the gusts and caught them on dries.
After a couple of days up in Melrose on the Big Hole we had a fun evening float on the Beaverhead where we started tricking them on nymphs but quickly found them eating on top. We cruised back toward Twin Bridges feeling pretty heady. It’s a toss up whether Bootsy Collins spent more time in a drift boat on in the truck on this vacation. We covered a lot of road and river miles.
We stopped in at the Blue Anchor in Twin with the intent of celebrating with one beer. In the blink of an eye we were eating tombstone pizza for dinner at the bar and taking multiple Rumplemintz shots with new friends.
The next day was the only day I tapped my helmet during the whole trip. Bootsy Collins and I watch old movies while The Professor wade fished spring creeks around the Ruby River.
After that, we were back on the road for a few days, heading over to my hearts favorite place on the planet, the Missouri River. We literally fished our fannies off. Bootsy Collins had no idea what was in store. Double floats, alarm at 6 am, eating dinner after midnite. We practically made ourselves sick having so much fun. We couldn’t see straight by the time we crippled out of Craig.
After a quick round of laundry back at the house it was time to hit the road again. This time, we were headed to Idaho.
To kick off the Professor’s 50th birthday week, we did a 26-mile float through the canyon on the South Fork of the Snake. We rowed and fished it ourselves, but treated ourselves to a nite at an outfitters camp which was a blast. The first day of fishing was off the charts, and the scenery was magnificent. This is us…
Big thanks to our new friend Latham from Jackson whom we met at the camp. He took this cool canyon pic.
Once back in the 406, we spent the fourth at the Ennis Rodeo, then daydrinking with friends at the Gravel Bar, topped off with an early dinner at Banditos. The female can chasers were some of the few pics I have with a human being on horse or bull. I don’t know if the broncs and bulls were extra bee stung or tasered but those animals were nuts. Few cowboys stayed on.
I have A LOT more scoop and pics to share from each leg of the trip, but this serves as a quick overview. We are back in Texas, gearing up to retrieve Little Chick from camp and continue birthday festivities for the Professor. Next week I will hit you with some more Montana/Idaho stories.
Until then, enjoy a little “Healing Power” from Bootsy Collins. Lord knows, I’ve been feeling it the last two weeks. Or maybe it was the fishing. And the crisp Montana air. Either way…it all game together and Bootsy was a part of it.