35th Wffc Bih 2015

World Fly Fishing Championship 2019

Montana Fly Fishing | Common Lines (Short Film)

Montana Fly Fishing | Common Lines (Short Film)


I was on two combat deployments I was in
the invasion and then O.A.F 2 and and the beginning of O.A.F 3 I mean even with my family they said you
know I was a different person and I knew I was but I was more upset that I was
different and couldn’t go back I was you know pretty sure I was gonna die you
know and there was a lot of times where I just wanted to give up but for some
reason It just healed me and yeah fly fishing
you know the peace and like it just gave me a place to heal to actually come home
and actually be home Fishing just fishing in general has been part of my life ever
since I was a little kid my first memory fishing was sitting on the dock at my
grandparents cottage on Goose Creek that flowed into Lake Chautauqua in New York
and I was probably maybe three or four and remember seeing the bobber go up
and down and I got so excited I just I didn’t know what to do I got up and I
ran up to the porch you know 15 feet away and I was like there’s a fish
there’s a fish they’re like my grandfather said well reel it in and I
said okay so I ran over and reeled it in and that was it I mean like from then on
like there was just something that happened inside me you know like it just
consumed me it built and built and built You know I was living in State College
Pennsylvania I was irritated with my bar job you know opened up the classifieds
you know back when people use the classifieds to find a job and one of the
first things I saw was house staff Orvis endorsed fly fishing lodge in Montana
I’ve never even been to Montana and so I bought a van for like $800 crossed my
fingers and started you know the 30 hour drive west I couldn’t you know believe
it when I you know pulled into Paradise Valley there’s just these massive
mountains there was still snow all over them and everything and you know there it began When you have a gathering of fly fishing
fly fisher people it’s all walks of life you know and you know when I do these
schools all of those different walks of life come together the school that we’re
doing right now we have a couple we have a retired aerospace engineer we’ve got a
couple of Iraqi and Afghanistan vets we have a pediatric doctor you know we’ve got me so seeing all these people come together and then the conversations that
happen are conversations that normally wouldn’t happen in regular everyday life
you know Mike I’m probably not gonna meet him in a bar you know I’m probably
not gonna meet him at my daughter’s school this is where I meet him I meet
him on the river You know we worked so hard you know there were days I would go
to work at 5:00 and go home at 11 and I never had time for anything but the
family life a little bit I had and work and you know it was just not life and so I
hung it up and became a fly fisher a fly bum It becomes not about catching
the fish it becomes about getting involved with the fish knowing how it
all works catching just proves you’re learning it how can you beat it I mean I
can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing at this stage in my life You know everybody’s pretty much
strangers when they show up here and you know the first night people are you know
cordial and there’s fishing stories and you know you can start to see the
different personalities of people but by the second night and the third night you know around the dinner table around the fly-tying vices you see relationships
start to form Our second date I think it was we went to Colorado and decided to
save money on skiing so we went and hired a fishing guide instead $400
fishing guy we were on the ice as well so that was the guide said I was earning
some brownie points on that trip you know you see Brad Pitt on a river runs
through it and you think that’s exactly what fly-fishing is gonna be and it’s
not we’ve had our fights on the river but I think we’ve really formed a solid
you know more secure connection as well because we’re out there together we’re
struggling through things we’re teaching learning you know you get that together
it’s just it’s awesome to be able to have a fishing partner as your best
friend and and to do it together it’s fun
and they always say don’t teach your wife how to golf and it’s not been like
that for us with me just starting a year and a half ago I was intimidated didn’t
know what I was doing but I’ve been very fortunate that all of our friends
everybody would go with any trips we’ve been on the camaraderie that you have
you’re on a drift boat with you know two other people for a couple hours you’re
getting to know about their life and family and you really get to see
people’s personality and who they are and it’s it’s just fun to be around
these people and you form I think lifelong bonds over trips like
this Fly fishing for trout is probably I think the most cerebral you know type of
fishing that there is when you approach the piece of water that you’re looking
for you’re 10 to 15 feet off the bank creeping getting closer tie that fly on
that you thinks gonna work sometimes it does sometimes not you know tie on another fly cast that out there watching how the fish act you know
and there’s this progression that you go through nothing nothing’s nothing sloppy
there There’s just something that’s
therapeutic about fly-fishing and having the opportunities to be in places like
this being with like-minded people who appreciate this beautiful country my
father-in-law bought me a real before I moved from Pittsburg Pennsylvania to
Boise Idaho didn’t have a clue what I was doing
what tip it was or anything like that and it’s just become a way to escape
everyday life and cheaper than therapy there’s you know an array of wonderful
fly fishing opportunities around here everything from big rivers that you
float to still spring creeks that’s why we live out west is to be in big
beautiful country I will say that the fishing in Montana there’s just
something special about it whether it’s the scenery whether it’s
the wildness of the fish you know Montana is the only state that it’s actually illegal to stock a stream the fish are wild you know they’re born
in the gravel you know they don’t come from a raceway where they’re hand
fed and you know helped along and nurtured these
fish are fighters you know like you know it’s like Jake and Danny in there I mean
like those guys are survivors and fighters and and that’s what the trout
in Montana are like When I got out
you know I struggled pretty pretty bad you know I was suicidal and isolated self
medicated and my brother took me out one time and you know we fished all day and
and it brought me back to our childhood you know where we didn’t care about
anything our grandpa would take us up drop us off
on the creek and he would go down to the swimmin hole and sit there and drink
beer while we would Wade down the creek catchin brook trout and rainbow trout
and that’s where it brought me back slowly over time it’s just evolved me
into someone that’s happy you know to be alive and and thankful and like I like
I’m home again you know I belong again now I just I don’t look back I just want
to help as many guys as I can and I keep pushing forward and you could tell you
know when people are struggling and they you know they’re kind of guarded and and
then you get them out there out on the river or whatever and they open up a
little bit and if they want to talk about stuff they can if not you know we
just stay quiet and fish and it just you know it’s it’s kind of the same process
like that I went through I get to watch it through them it uh it’s rewarding to
me just to be able to do that I struggled for a long time trying to
adjust the civilian life and I got into drugs to cope with the stuff that I was
going through and you know PTSD and all that stuff
I can say that fly fishing probably saved my life because that is my therapy
for me every time I step into that river it
feels like I’m back like I’m back home I mean we might not have experienced the
exact same stuff but we’ve all been you know in the military and we can relate to each
other you know and like with fly fishing like coming here and meeting complete
strangers you know and after a couple days you bond it’s it’s kind of having
that same kind of bond you might have only known him a few days but you all
share a same common love or passion for something that bond’s you together that
aspect of it is a huge part that helps helped me and and helps others because
we’re still searching for that and finding that is hard to be able to find
that again you know or is it’s what saved my life You know being in the
industry for 20 years now and and and guiding for this long it’s a lot more
important than than I ever really understood it gives people something to
focus on that have gone through some things that weigh
on their mind heavily seeing the healing seeing how I can help people ease their
minds put smiles on their face that’s that’s what fly-fishing is to me now I still like catching big fish yeah

1 thought on “Montana Fly Fishing | Common Lines (Short Film)

  1. If you have any questions about the film, the people in it, or fly fishing in Montana, leave it here!

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