Thursday, April 25, 2013

Montana 2013

Those who read this blog regularly (all 5 of you) or those who know me personally know this is an annual trip and sort of a big deal for me and my fishing acquaintances. At some point each year we head to this river in Montana called the Bighorn river, which is an extremely productive tailwater. We do this to catch a ton of fish, drink a little beer, a bunch of whisk(e)y, and just hang out. It seems to me that it's slowly devolving into a bit more of a hang out and less of a fish-hard-outing, but I think that's the general idea in most hobbies and in the aging process. I'm OK with it. I guess.

A couple years back I did a pre-trip post to introduce my beloved readers to the contestants. This year I was not on top of things, partly because the line-up wasn't totally finalized until the night we arrived, and partly because I am getting lazier in my old age. So I am going to introduce you, post-facto, to the contestants. What are they contesting in? A number of things. Some of which they knew about, others they were oblivious to. But all those things aside for now, here are the contestants.

Tyler (dry-fly only purist who has been fishing for 1 year)
Bueno (Bighorn virgin)
Gavin (Bighorn virgin)
Cousin John
Mitch (Bighorn virgin)
Big Jon

Of the contests we all knew about, which were biggest rainbow, biggest brown, and biggest whitefish, we have winners. What did they win? Well, the biggest trout each received a bottle of Roughstock Montana whisk(e)y and a cigar (which was left in the rental car and I now have!). The biggest whitefish won the jackpot that consisted of $5 for each whitefish caught on the trip.

Mike sort of ruined the fun and won both largest trout prizes. Congrats Mike, and thanks for spoiling the fun for everyone else.

Jonathan won the largest whitefish, which was 17" and he claims to have caught twice. Unfortunately for him, I don't think anyone actually paid. Sorry. I owe you $5 and so do a few other people.

Of the contests that people didn't know about, here we go. 

Biggest partier disappointment, it's a 3-way tie between cousin John, Gavin, and Bueno. We were stunned when they were the first to head back to their cabin and turn in every night. I can only assume they were either pounding the whisky hard on the river or did so after they left us every night. Congrats either way fellas!

Most improved fisherman. This one is really hard to give out since I really only fished with the people in my boat, but I remember hearing reports of Mitch catching quite a few fish from the boat. Being as it's his first time here and how he hasn't done a ton of fly fishing in general, that makes him worthy and deserving.

Most dedicated fisherman. This one was going to go to big John because he didn't know how or when to take a break. However...and you knew there was a however coming...he took a half day off with a bunch of others to go see some silly historical sight, and that's not what a dedicated fisherman does. Instead I'm awarding this to Jonathan. We always have trouble getting him to fully commit to long trips like this and when he does it seems like he always has to come up late or leave early. He did neither this year, fished his heart out, hooked a million and even caught a few, so congrats Jonathan!

Best cook. Gavin for preparing something I certainly can't spell, and don't even recall what it was, to add to our fish tacos one night. He wins despite the neoprene waders.

Worst dressed. I place this here because it goes to Gavin, pictured above. I just can't get passed the neoprene. Of course the real blame goes to someone else in the group for donating these stylish waders.

Best boat rower.  I give this one to myself because I'm the only one who didn't row the boat over prime fishing territory while I was fishing.

Most dedicated to something other than fishing. This doesn't necessarily mean not dedicated to fishing, but Tyler win's hands down since he put in a number of 10+ mile runs in the mornings before we headed out. Then fished hard all day and walked up and down the banks nonstop searching for rising pods.

MVP. This one is sort of a no-brainer. It goes to Brady for doing all the logistics, delegating the shopping, making all reservations, sending out all emails, and basically sorting out everything so all the rest of us have to do is show up. The only hangup that made me consider re-routing this award was that the historical sight outing was his idea. Regardless, I seriously hope you got paid back in full plus a little, but it sounds like we shorted you this year. Maybe I'll help out a little next year. Then again maybe not.

Until he matches this catch, I am obligated to overuse this picture. I have no choice.

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