A late Winter's day dream

You might want to think of this story as an utter fabrication

Since the odds are pretty good that you don’t live down the road in northwestern Montana, you might want to think of this story as a complete and utter fabrication. After all, it’s not likely that there’s a ton of snow outside your window right now, right? Your weather in Virginia or Texas or California or wherever you happen to be reading this probably doesn’t owe half it’s punch to a northern Pacific rain event and the other half to an Arctic front that extends from the Washington/ Idaho border all the way to eastern Minnesota.

Collin cura river fly fishing
Chris Hunt hooked up to a big brown trout on a side channel of the Collon Cura River (photo: Chad Shmukler).

With a side of adventure

Side channels are to be explored, not ignored

Side channels rock.

I was 11 years old when Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham - Led Zeppelin, for those of you who don’t know - released one of the great rock & roll anthems of all time. Stairway to Heaven was an instant classic, and it still blasts from car speakers and home stereos all over the world. I was actually listening to the song the other day when the lyrics, which I’ve probably heard a thousand times over the last 40 odd years, jumped the tracks and made a new connection in my brain.

savan river rainbow trout - Kamchatka, Russia
Santos Madero releases a Savan sized rainbow (photo: Earl Harper).

Savan sized

Standing slack-jawed on one of Kamchatka's fish factories

I’m sitting with Jack Handey, who has deep thoughts and loves chocolate. We’re perched on the edge of our jet boat which we’ve pulled aground on a mid-stream sandbar of Kamchatka’s Savan River, finishing off our lunches as we marvel about the river’s rainbows. Thirteen days into a 14 day trip down the Savan, we’re still blathering on about its resident trout—not specifically about their size, strength, beauty or numbers, but more about their unique combination of all those qualities. It is the Savan’s rainbows that truly define the river.

Opening day at Bennett Springs
Opening day at Bennett Springs (photo: Missouri Department of Conservation).

The state of Missouri has got to be kidding

There's fishing, and then there's whatever this is

I get it. How you fish is not how I fish. And that's swell. Really, it is. I like to fish with a fly rod. You don't? That's fine. I prefer to chase wild fish instead of stocked fish but if you don't care you won't hear any complaints from me. I like to hike away from the parking lots and trailheads and find solitude on the river, but maybe you prefer cajoling with your buddies right by the put in with a cooler of beer. Sometimes, I do too. However you like to fish, by and large, that's how you should fish.


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