Labor of Love

We flew out to Montana on Wednesday to kick off Labor Day weekend and I already know what you’re going to say. “Why the hell is she celebrating Labor Day since she spent the entire summer on vacation? What kind of labor is she taking a break from?” Well, stand down my friend and let me quickly point out that I have been watching a lot of back episodes of ‘Undercover Boss’ lately which has me in a very populist frame of mind. Plus I’ve recently seen the movie ‘Hoffa’….twice. So I’m hip to all the teamster lingo and their plight. I am very much down with the spirit of Labor Day.

Even though in the spirit of total honesty, I didn’t exactly labor over this gorgeous rainbow. I could tell you stories of casting to this one rising fish for two hours, changing out every fly in the flybox, countless perfect drifts until he finally ate. But that’s not how this transpired. Basically 20 minutes into our float on the Beaverhead yesterday I was blindcasting a double rig blooms caddis and black ant (in a delicious spot, mind you, I’m not completely useless in this catch) when a beefy rainbow whacked the caddis. The fact that it was on the strip and I was looking over my shoulder flashing a smile at my handsome Howler-clad husband just before I was about to recast river right isn’t the way we really wanted to see this go down, but I can tell you with 100% honesty, I could have cared less. I am excited about this fish!

I knew I had on something good and the fight was fun. We were in a tight, fast stretch of water so the Professor had to ride out some mini rapids and somehow I managed to keep this fish on through rapids, rocks, weeds. While I may not get points on the technicality of the eat, I am going to pat myself on the back for not losing the fish, as I had multiple opportunities to break it off.

beaverhead rainbow

beav rainbow 01

We had the best day on the Beaverhead yesterday. The Professor caught this nice rainbow that jumped half a dozen times like a tarpon.

prof beav rainbow

We both caught more nice rainbows, and even a few browns.

beaverhead brown

All on caddis and black ants. We saw some crane flies late in the evening and the Professor threw one for a little while but no eats. Maybe the fish were on strike from striking cranes flies. Maybe if we’d been more diligent with it, the crane fly would have worked, but it was just hard not to throw the magic caddis-ant combo that had labored all day with such success.

Anglers of the world, unite! Have a Happy Labor Day my friends. I hope everyone gets a nice break and the chance to recharge. I hope everyone can spend time on the water and catch fish. I hope all of your football teams win (unless you’re for Duke or Elon.) I will share more reports from the rest of our Montana long weekend as I am able…next on the docket for us out here: spring creeks, one more float, college football and the Dillon Rodeo. Not working is fun. I’m not crossing the picket line anytime soon.

8 Responses to “Labor of Love”
  1. Mike Rocchio says:

    Nice fish….always enjoy reading your articles ….. funny and whimsical

  2. HG says:

    Boy you weren’t kidding last night, what an awesome fish! Great to see you guys hope you have an awesome weekend!

  3. Turnip Truck Driver says:

    Many travel Montana following the Lewis and Clark Trail. This summer I departed a bit and followed The Fly Fish Chick Trail. The Big Horn, Yellowstone, Missouri, Beaverhead, and Jefferson with an added gravel filled trip to the upper, upper Ruby. The Big Hole was rested due to low water.

    Highlight of the trip: On the men’s room wall in Izaack’ s in Craig, Mt – “For a good read click on

  4. Carmen says:

    Gorgeous fish! Happy Labor Day and Geaux Tigers!

  5. TTD, that’s the most hilarious comment ever posted here.

  6. HG, so fun to see you guys…as always! good luck with the rest of your season, don’t be a stranger~

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