Waiting At Missoula River Boat Ramp

“Don’t Do That Shit Any More!”

Fly Fishing Guide Stories

Oh, how I remember that comment. Looking back at the many people I’ve been lucky to fish with over the years, I’m not sure I would’ve pegged Peter as one that I always look forward to. His initial review of lunch on the first of nine days did not instill confidence in our future together. However, Peter continued by explaining the particulars of making a pastrami sandwich. In detail. It was immediately obvious my lengthy, grilled, multi-course, lunch was not going to cut it for the next eight days. Only a Pastrami Sandwich. Made to order. Exactly.

Missoula River Guide Lunch

Riverside Lunch

That first lunch only scratched the surface of this ol’ retired tank commander. Peter slowly let me get to know him over the course of the next week, as he flopped his line out in the perfect drift each day. Actually, it is a beautiful flop. Right over the zone where the fish are, big sloppy mend upstream, and a crazy drag-free drift right through the run. Man, can he catch fish. It’s not pretty, but it is very effective. Rarely does he let me take a picture of fish he caught, and I only have one with him in it. That’s not what it’s about.

Fishing The Clark Fork River

Fly Fishing Life

Peter was in several conflicts and wars, but he always carried something to fish with in his tank. I’ve heard the stories, multiple times. The beats in Germany. The sturgeon. Decades of trips fishing through Yellowstone National Park with his late wife. Steelhead. Salmon. Bass. More trout than you can shake a stick at.

His favorite float is on the Blackfoot River. When he was young, walking up the unimproved take out at the end of the day was a mild challenge for him. It became a difficult hill to help him up over the last few years. But he loved it, and we did it. Until last year, he said he couldn’t get it done and didn’t think we should do the float. “No problem, Peter. We’ve got many other options.” Well, that lasted about two more days. The third day when he got in the truck he said “Screw it, I want to do that float. Just leave me at the take out if I can’t make it up that damn hill!” I had an idea, and we got him out with a nice raft ride up the hill.

Blackfoot River Takeout

Gratitude For Years Of Fishing Together

I write about Peter because he couldn’t make it out this year. At 92 years old he thought his legs couldn’t handle driving himself from California anymore. I’ll miss the stories of all the travels and life experiences accompanied with the crumpled photos in his wallet.

Steelhead Fishing                      Sturgeon Fishing

Peter, thanks for putting up with me over the years, the many memories on the water, and for teaching this young buck how to make a Pastrami Sandwich.

Missoula Fly Fishing Boat Ramp