We moved from Washington to Montana when I was just starting 1st grade. My whole family is from the Eatonville area, but my dad loved the mountains of Montana and took a good job with the state there. We didn't live in 'in town'. We were way outside the city limits of Butte, and when I was little, way outside was 9 miles. My Montana summers were spent fishing and roaming Big Sky Country with my younger brother. If you think I'm gonna go all 'A River Runs Through It' on ya, you're close, but not quite. Fly fishing was never my thing. I got a fly rod for my 12th birthday and hated it.

I went back to my trusty spinning rod, casting a red & white Daredevil lure in just the right spots. I caught hundreds of Brook, Brown, and Cutthroat trout growing up, all about 9-12 inches and tasty as hell. The brookies pictured above hang in my house and were mounted by my taxidermist cousin in Montana. They are 16 and 13 inches and particularly large for the tiny 'crick' I was fishing that day. But our freezer was full of delicious trout growing up. When grandpa came to visit from Tacoma, he loved and ate as many as mom would fry up.

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As I prepare to make my annual quest to my childhood creeks and streams in Montana, some co-workers have said that they didn't know I loved to fish. Problem is, I have tried fishing the Columbia River. I'm not a boat guy. I don't even want a boat. I love walking up and down the shore and finding just the right spot. Much harder in a river than a creek. I also don't know what to use. I don't know what's swimming out there looking for my lure. This is certainly on me, but when I first moved here 9 years ago, I threw a hundred thousand casts and quit. I'm not looking for dinner, just a catch and release once in a while would be nice. No wonder Lewis & Clark kept rowing. Haha...I kid, I kid! I just suck at fishing here.

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