The Snag Hole

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by Randy
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on Monday, 03 September 2018
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   The ants are out!

   You hear about it but have you ever seen it? The flying ant hatch on the Madison is elusive and undependable, but if you hit it right, oh boy!FlyingAnts

   It could happen anytime between mid August and mid September...on a hot, still, windless afternoon...usually late in the day...in several spots on the river.

   Through the years, I have seen the ant hatch in the following places:


Shewmaker Ditch area

The Cottonwoods

The Snag Hole

Main Street, Downtown Ennis

Above McAtee bridge down to Indian Ck.

Above and below Varney Bridge

Ruby Cliffs


East channel across from Eight Mile Ford

Side channel of river above Ennis Lake

Madison Meadows Golf Course


   What flies should I use? I have had success with several patterns, all in size 14 or 16:

Foamy Ant, Royal Trude, Goofus Bug (Humpy), Royal Stimmy, Royal PMX...or any of the CDC patterns with a white post or cluster wing.foamy_ant

  The rise form during the ant hatch is unmistakeable...more of an eruption than a rise, usually accompanied with a jet stream of river water shooting straight up in the air. The folic acid in the ants is addictive. Think trout crack cocaine!anthill

   The hatch is tricky. The least little gust of wind will knock it out. It can happen on one stretch of river and nowhere else. All the stars have to line up just right. So if you are in the right place at the right time with the right fly you are in.

   Oh, and one more thing...watch for the night hawks.nighthawk

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by Randy
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on Thursday, 16 August 2018
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Time to recognize the noteworthy people, places and events in the fly fishing world, the Madison Valley and Ennis, Montana...



FLY OF THE YEAR: The RB Bunny. The Dark Side never looked brighter on a #4 hook.rb_bunny_edit


RIVER OF THE YEAR: The Madison..producing year after year against incredible odds and the Invasion of the Bozemanite Barbarian Hordes.


MOST FLIES UNDER ONE ROOF AWARD: Dan and Nancy Delekta's Beartooth Fly Shop. Best fly selection I've ever seen...anywhere.


BEST DRY FLY FISHING GUIDE: Dave Scully, no contest.


BEST OUTFITTER TO GUIDE FOR: Mike Treloar/ River Borne Outfitters...Rainbow Valley Lodge.treloar_big_bow_2_001






HOTTEST BARTENDER AWARD (tie): Marie Clark/Silver Dollar, Carey Croy/Sportsman's Lodge.


 BEST DRIVE THRU MONEY PIT: First Madison Valley Bank $$$$$.




FRIENDLIEST FLY SHOP GUY AWARD: John Way/The Tackle Shop, Ennis. (He also serves a great hot dog with spicy brown mustard).


NASTIEST OUTHOUSE AWARD: Ennis Campground....did somebody die in there?


 NICEST OUTHOUSE AWARD: Ennis Lions Club Park...pristine!


GUIDE MEETING OF THE DECADE FIGJAM AWARD:bert__rbguide_pic_8-3-15_004

            Mike Treloar, Randy Brown, Brandon Struckman, "Dirty Mike" Elliott

                             FIGJAM = "F**K I'M GOOD JUST ASK ME"




UNSUNG HERO AWARD: All the shuttle drivers workin' it hard.




 FLYFISHER, HORN HUNTER, ELK TRACKER, SPIKE CAMPER, CALF ROPER, MULE SKINNER, PICKER AND GRINNER AWARD: "Dirty Mike" Elliott, Discover Montana Outfitting.dirty_mike__the_chief_edit






DISAPPEARING ACT OF THE YEAR AWARD: Madison River Recreation Plan.





MILKSHAKE OF THE YEAR: Yesterday's Soda Fountain, Ennis.










BEST NEW FISHING GUIDE:  I can't think of any.


"SIMPLY THE BEST" award: Shedhorn Sports, Ennis, Mt. Nobody does it better.shedhorn_gun_show_edit






STILLWATER FLYFISHER OF THE YEAR: Ed Schroeder (nobody else comes close).




BEST FOURTH OF JULY PARADE AWARD: Ennis, Montana. Just gets better and better!


UNSOLVED MYSTERY AWARD: Madison County Sheriff's Dept.sportsmans_crime_scene


SHELL GAME OF THE DECADE AWARD: Madison River Foundation


SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD: Dave Kumlien/Montana Troutfitters.


BEST COFFEE: on_the_fly


BEST SCENIC FLOAT: Lyon Bridge to Palisades.


BEST BIKINI HATCH: Warm Springs to Black's Ford.






"WE DO IT RIGHT" AWARD: Ennis RV Village. First class operation all the way.




IN MEMORIUM: Leon Homer Thexton

"I got ahold of some bad tobacco."





                      "You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It's the pursuit of the dream that heals you"...

...Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

Pine Ridge, South Dakota 

Olympic Champion, Gold Medal winner



               WALK THE EARTH...RBMF 2018
























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by Randy
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on Friday, 11 May 2018
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   Watching the water rise around the state of Montana starting to give me that "sinking" feeling. All these shiny new drift boats with not a scratch...fancy paint jobs...lowgunnels...brand new designer oars handmade from imported tropical bubinga and cocobolo.

   The mighty Missouri topping 21,000 cubic feet per second at Toston, 13,000 at WolfCk.

   The Big Hole at 7800 cfs at Melrose.

   The Jefferson at 10,000 cfs at Three Forks.


   Impressive numbers for sure.


   But high water brings low bridges...and submerged cottonwoods...and hydraulics and whirlpools...and all other manner of  doom, danger and despair.


   It can get ugly out there...sunk_drift_boat_salmon_r

 A trip on the Salmon River that ended early.



  A fancy new wood boat that took a side channel on the Big Hole with some very jagged old metal posts hiding under the surface.



        A float trip on the Yellowstone that got cattywompus.



      A bad day on the Deschutes.



        Run Forrest, run!




Rowing drift boats 101: never float sideways through the Kelly Br. on the Madison.



            It's sunk but we can see it!





Tim Mosolf and others portage boats and rafts over Hildreth bridge...Beaverhead River, 1984.


   Should be a fun springtime on Montana rivers. Be careful out there.







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by Randy
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on Friday, 20 April 2018
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   lebron_rejection   In a stunning, unanimous, 4-0 decision, The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission voted NO on the proposed Madison River Recreation Plan that would limit commercial use on the river and would have blocked out certain stretches from access by float craft.




     Architects of the plan were shocked, I tell you.

    All that work, all those surveys, stats, numbers, charts...all that negative sentiment towards fishing guides...POOF! Many thought most of the plan would be approved with maybe certain portions taken out or altered.     


   The entire plan was shot down with the Commission basically saying "come back to us when you have a plan that makes sense".

   Most sensible people agree the river is too crowded, so the basic premise to reduce pressure is a no-brainer. So what went wrong?


   They screwed it up.


   Rather than just put a cap on new outfitter licenses and call it good, the designers of the plan got greedy. Paralysis by analysis.

    Picture rooms full of nerdy types glued to computer screens with thick glasses and pocket protectors buzzing over stats and trends and three-second clicks from a river-cam hidden in the bushes. Hidden cameras!

   And by the way, those fishing guides are lying to us! The horror!

   More stats, more charts, more graphs...more, more, more. And pretty soon a simple plan that most could understand grew into a many-headed monster that got out of control. The finished plan totalled 67 pages.

   Your state government ran amok.

   They figured to dazzle with numbers and charts, but when they started carving up sections of the river like a Thanksgiving turkey, they went off the rails. Dictating days of the week when one can or cannot float a particular stretch was one of the deal breakers.

   If you have 300 people in a large room and force them into a smaller room, what do you get? Duh. 

   Who was in charge of this operation, Inspector Clouseau?inspector_clouseau

   Fishing outitters and guides were targeted as guilty. But the crowding problem is just not that simple. Many other factors are in play including:

   The ridiculous population explosion in Bozeman that slops over into the Madison every single day of the year.

   The opening of the Madison to fishing year round.

   The problems with just about every other river except the Madison: green slime on the Beaverhead, fish kill on the Yellowstone, low, hot water on the Big Hole and Jefferson, overcrowded wade fishing on the Gallatin up the canyon.

    And 70 miles to the south we have the uncontrollable shit-show that is Yellowstone National Park.

   All roads funnel toward the Madison River.


   The vortex.


    When the town of Ennis was founded back in the 1860s, it had become a crossroads... a convergence of wagon traffic, gold prospectors and snake oil salesmen. Today, over 150 years later, it remains a crossroads...for flyfishers from all over the land.


    So back to the drawing board. We are lucky to have a river full of fish...for now. Fish populations are even better than when I started fishing the Madison in 1972, forty six years ago, and when I got my first guide license in 1980.

   I have always supported FWP fisheries people. I feel they have done an admirable job keeping our fish stocks stable, even after the huge hit from Whirling Disease in 1990, when rainbow populations in Varney sunk to an all time low of 200 fish per mile (1993), and when the Hebgen Dam busted loose in 2008 sending a wall of water downstream.

   Kudos to them.

   But controlling people is a bigger problem.


   A problem that I'm not sure anyone can solve. 




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by Randy
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on Thursday, 12 April 2018
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Here is a link to a summary of the proposed plan:




   mad_river_mapMontana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has put out a proposed Madison River Recreation Plan with the purpose of limiting commercial use on the river. It is 67 pages long with lots of numbers, data, charts and graphs...but here are some basics:


* Overall use on the Madison River continues to grow due to an increasing general population, (especially the exploding growth in Bozeman, Mt., only fifty short boat trailer miles away), a healthy fishery and a growing interest in fly fishing and river recreation.


* Upper Madison River use has doubled in the last four years from 88,000 to 179,000 angler days per year.angler_use_chart


* There were 213 active Special River Permits (green sticker) for outfitters on the Madison in 2017. General outfitter licenses (red sticker) issued for the state total over 30,000 since inception, both active and inactive. srp_2018197








 * Outfitter trips on the Madison increased 72% in the last 10 years.client_day_use


* Since FWP opened the Upper Madison to year-round fishing, springtime outfitter trips increased dramatically.


* Quake Lake outlet to Lyon Br. "walk and wade" outfitter trips have doubled since


* 42% of the property bordering the banks of the Upper Madison is privately owned.


* There is a pervailing negative attitude toward fishing outfitters from Montana residents.


* There has been a hidden, automatic camera located between Lyon Br. and Windy Pt. taking photos of drift boats every three seconds since 2015. black_mask_guy


* 60% of boat traffic on Upper Madison is commercial.


* From a 2016 FWP "mail-in" survey, 54% of residents and 30% of non-residents feel the number of float users on the Madison is either
"unacceptable" or "very unacceptable".angler_satisfaction


* Trout populations in the Upper Madison are at all time highs.


* Proposed "no commercial use zones" are as follows:

Quake-Lyons...no Saturday

Lyons-Pal...no Sunday

Pal-Mac......no Monday

Mac-Varney...no Tuesday

Varney-Ennis...no Wed.

Ennis-Ennis Lake...no Thursday

   Outfitters will be allocated limited days of operation in these areas based on historic use.


* A cap (moratorium) will be placed on  SRP (commercial outfitter) permits issued for use on the Madison River based on 2016, 2017 use.


* No restrictions on non-commercial users between Lyons and Ennis.


* A ban of all float craft, commercial and non-commercial,  is proposed in the two wade-only areas of Quake-Lyon Br. and Ennis Campground to Ennis Lake.


    Lots to digest and ponder. Until then, the Soup of the Day is Rocky Mtn. Whitefish Chowder.















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by Randy
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on Friday, 23 February 2018
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    from The Madisonian newspaper 2/21/18 


ENNIS – According to a press release from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 12:44 a.m. on Feb. 19, Madison County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call of a disturbance at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Ennis. Upon arrival, deputies learned that one person had been shot in the altercation.

“One subject, a 48-year-old male, of Ennis, was transported by the Ennis Ambulance to the Madison Valley Medical Center in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest,” the press release reads. The shooting victim was later transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, and his condition remains unknown.

Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson reported a 57-year-old male, from McAllister, whose name remains unreleased, was detained at the scene. The McAllister man was treated at MVMC for multiple injuries, and later transported to Billings for possible head injuries.

Thompson said the investigation of the incident is continuing. “We are still trying to determine the motive behind the altercation and are hoping for additional cooperation from those involved,” the sheriff's press release reads. “There are many unsolved questions that have yet to be answered.”



   Such a strange world back there at the Sportsman's Lodge, behind the restaurant, behind the bar, in those quaint cabins Otis Crooker built way back in the 1950s.

   The 911 call came in at "approximately 12:44 AM" but by that time "Mr. 57" pretty much had his brains beaten in by "Mr. 48" who, eventually, had a bullet in him. Both men were in bad shape.  An ugly scene.


   The sheriff's office also reported:"A woman has been arrested due to interference with the investigation but is not a suspect in the shooting."

   Really? Strange.

   Who pulled the trigger?

Mr. 57 was beaten so bad he was helpless.

Mr. 48 had a bullet in his back and he was wordless.


   Did 57 shoot 48 in the scuffle? Did 48 shoot himself in the back? 

   Self defense?

   Suicide attempt?

   That leaves "Woman X". Did she pull the trigger? Since she was arrested and placed in custody, were her hands tested for gunshot residue? Were the two men's hands tested for gunshot residue? Where's the gun?


   Sheriff says "neither man was cooperating enough with investigators to determine what happended." Why not?

    48 is in a coma in the hospital. So he ain't talkin'.

   Since 57 was being beaten to a pulp you would think he would be happy to talk. But he ain't talkin'.

   That leaves "Woman X", but she ain't talkin" either.



    One of three people at the scene was the shooter.

   Even if you believe in UFOs, little green men and life on other planets, it's pretty clear the bullet wasn't fired by aliens from outer space.

   Or was it?

    It was after midnight in the dead of winter blowing snow sideways fifteen below zero Ennis, Montana.

   I guess anything is possible.




 If anyone has information on the incident and has not talked to the Sheriff's Office, they are asked to call 406-843 5301.






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The Snag Hole Goes Behind the Scenes at Exclusive Photo Shoot

by Randy
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on Wednesday, 24 January 2018
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   The Snag Hole has obtained classified photos taken behind the scenes in a remote location somewhere in Montana. These shots include wild animals, exotic models, local characters, a fishing guide, a one-man band and a convicted felon, among others. They are not available to the normal public. Or even the abnormal public.pio_shoot_2pio_shoot_2018nevada_city_shoot_trainnevada_city_shoot_bw


         Just another day on the set!

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by Randy
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on Thursday, 19 October 2017
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"We fear what we don't know and we hate what we fear."



   Viet Nam vet and long-time grizzly bear advocate Doug Peacock talks about life and the big bears which to him are one and the same.doug_peacock_2doug_peacockdoug_peacock_3_jpg



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Alcohol, Cigarettes and Knowing "You're Nothing"

by Randy
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on Saturday, 23 September 2017
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             The Tao of Harry Dean Stanton









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Steve Hubner

by Randy
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on Thursday, 24 August 2017
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  ennis_bridge_bw    Right after I bought Red Thompson's old house with the apple orchard on the corner of 3rd & Ennis St. in 1981, I had a problem...too many sheds. Four sheds and an outhouse up front, two more sheds and a barn out back. I didn't need all these sheds and one tall shed in particular was blocking my view of Fan Mountain.

   What to do?

   Call Steve Hubner.

   I had gotten to know Steve through my many visits down around Jeffers, to Valley Garden fishing access, and through other various shenanigans involving geese, ducks and whitetail deer. He did me a couple of favors so I gave him an old blacksmith bellows that was laying around my place. In case you didn't already know, Steve liked to "collect" stuff.

   Anyway I had him come over and look at the shed in my yard.

   "If you can get it out of here, you can have it" I told him.

   He looked it over, up and down and sideways.

   A few days later he came back with a load of gear...jacks, blocks, timbers.

   "I will get it out of here but I have to wait for the right time."

   I wasn't sure what he meant but I found out later. It was a dicey deal moving that shed across the old Ennis bridge over the Madison River down to Jeffers. With the old steel girder system in place, clearance would be a problem... and a danger. It would have to traverse dead center on the highway to clear the overhang. Traffic would be blocked both ways. There were permits to be secured, but no one would grant a permit for this escapade...too risky. One false move and the shed would be laying down sideways in the middle of the road...in the middle of the bridge. Big trouble.

   But Steve Hubner had a plan.

   He pre-measured the clearance at the bridge and timed how long it would take to make the slow trip down through Jeffers and past Valley Garden to his house. And he would do it in the dead of night when nobody was looking. On a flat bed dozer trailer.

   Time passed. I had made a week-long trip over to the Bighorn River. Fishing was great and I had all but forgotten about the shed. I arrived home and in the back yard there was nothing but an empty square dirt hole and a few concrete blocks where the shed had been.

   I drove down to Steve's house and there it sat. The shed was neatly planted in a back corner of the property, looking like it belonged and had been there for years.

   "It was a close call, but I made it just before sun-up. Only saw two cars and a trucker," declared Steve.

   My old shed still sits there on the Hubner property to this day. Y'all can drive by there and see it for yourself. And if any officials want to get Steve Hubner to pay for a permit or fill out some paperwork or write him a ticket, you are gonna have to pay him a special visit in a very special place.steve_hubner_edit_jpg


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by Randy
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on Saturday, 19 August 2017
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   Here it is...you've found it! Your reality! Your Montana dreamscape on the banks of the Madison River. Join your like-minded environmentally challenged neighbors and just like on Ebay, BUY IT NOW!

   Own twenty acres of rocks, knapweed, Roundup/Tordon/DDT infested rattlesnake habitat. Grow your own Invasive Species!mt_dream_1


   So close you can pee on the river from your back door.

   Walk your property and find rusted out tin cans, antelope poop and thistles. Enjoy life in the Dead Zone!

   And listen to the wind!...30, 40, 60, 80 mph of it...whistling through your brain cells as you stumble across the rocks sideways trying to find your driveway.

   And the winter...picture your self huddled inside your dream home looking out across a massive ice field watching animals dying...it's 30 below zero and the wind is screaming...what fun! (no worries, there's always Palm Springs).

   And the view! All those trees! Imagine life on the moon. It's all yours!mt_dream_4

     Prospective buyers are lining up...here comes one now!


   Call now 'cause this property is hot!. Operators are standing by.rattlesnake_2





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by Randy
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on Tuesday, 08 August 2017
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About Glen Campbell from the great Jimmy Webb:


   "Well, that moment has come that we have known was an inevitable certainty and yet stings like a sudden catastrophe. Let the world note that a great American influence on pop music, the American Beatle, the secret link between so many artists and records that we can only marvel, has passed and cannot be replaced - my friend and brother in music, Glen Campbell. He was bountiful. He gave me a $2,000 bag of golf clubs once and I went out to Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park and damned near killed myself trying to learn to play golf. He gave me a Remington 45/70 for my birthday and I was immediately more successful with that. His was a world of gifts freely exchanged: Roger Miller stories, songs from the best writers, an old Merle Haggard record, or a pocket knife.

He gave me a great wide lens through which to look at music. I watched him in awe executing his flawless rendition of “The William Tell Overture” on his classical guitar in his Vegas show. Jazz he loved. He claimed he learned the most about playing the guitar from Django Reinhardt. The cult of The Players? He was at the very center. He loved trading eights with George Benson in a great duel that broke out on a television show one night. Vince Gill and Keith Urban he eulogized. (About Urban he said one night, “that kid is a monster.”) Talking about Vince he would slowly shake his head in disbelief. He was recognized internationally in that unchartered fraternity of the very hot players, like Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney. (Sir Paul was present at one of the final concerts and paid a backstage visit.) He loved The Beach Boys and in subtle ways helped mold their sound. He loved Don and Phil, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, Flatt and Scruggs. This was the one great lesson that I learned from him as a kid: Musically speaking nothing is out of bounds.

Of course, he lavished affection and gifts on his kids, family and friends. His love was a deep mercurial thing and once committed he was a tenacious friend as so many in Nashville and Phoenix, L.A. and New York, compadres all over the world would testify. One of his favorite songs was “Try A Little Kindness” in which he sings “shine your light on everyone you see.” My God. Did he do that or what? Just thinking back I believe suddenly that the “raison d’etre” for every Glen Campbell show was to bring every suffering soul within the sound of his voice up a peg or two. Leave ’em laughin.’ Leave them feeling just a little tad better about themselves; even though he might have to make them cry a couple of times to get ’em there. What a majestically graceful and kind, top rate performer was Glen on his worst night!

I remember one evening after his Vegas show he grabbed me and Roger Miller and Carl Jackson and we all went over to a hotel on the back side of the strip where Kenny Rogers was playing a one a.m. gig in a half empty room. Kenny was floating somewhere between the First Edition and mega stardom and things were kinda slow round about then. In we trooped and Glen sat down in a big booth and ordered ice buckets full of beer and champagne. We whooped and hollered our way through every damn song. We went back stage after and we loved on that big old bearded guy with a frog in his throat who was headed for the stratosphere of stardom.

When it came to friendship Glen was the real deal. He spoke my name from ten thousand stages. He was my big brother, my protector, my co-culprit, my John crying in the wilderness. Nobody liked a Jimmy Webb song as much as Glen! And yet he was generous with other writers: Larry Weiss, Allen Toussaint, John Hartford. You have to look hard for a bad song on a Glen Campbell album. He was giving people their money’s worth before it became fashionable.

I am full of grief. I am writing because I think you deserve some sort of message from me but I am too upset to write very well or at any great length. It’s like waking up in the morning in some Kafkaesque novella and finding that half of you is missing. Laura and I would call upon you to rest your sympathy with Kim Campbell and her children Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his older children, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren. Perhaps you could throw in a prayer for the Webb kids, Chris, Justin, Jamie, Corey, Charles and Camila who looked upon him as a kind of wondrous uncle who was a celebrated star and funnier than old dad.

This I can promise. While I can play a piano he will never be forgotten. And after that someone else will revel in his vast library of recordings and pass them on to how many future generations? Possibly to all of them."




"I learned it was crucial to play right on the edge of the beat ... It makes you drive the song more. You're ahead of the beat, but you're not."glen_campbell














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by Randy
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on Monday, 24 July 2017
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   From the July 7 Madison River Foundation Newsletter:


    "At the June 30th Board of Director’s Meeting the Board decided to not continue with the Labor Day Fly Fishing Festival. The festival was an intense undertaking, requiring a great deal of time by staff, members and the BOD with no economic return to MRF.  We will still host a small event night to pick the winner of the drift boat raffle and sell T- Shirts. The Board is choosing instead to focus our efforts on enhancing and protecting the Madison River."


   They also deleted the annual "Gala" at The Old Kirby Place and inserted the "Catch The Hatch" event at the Jumping Horse Barn.


   Many of you know I have been critical of MRF from the start. To me, it was a far cry from a true conservation organization. Mostly, it was a chance for it's "Founder" to blow smoke and schmooze with anyone who had a few bucks, a fly shop or a free bottle of cabernet (at a salary of $44,000 per year plus expenses), while at the same time utterly ignoring the travesty taking place up at Hebgen Dam. (By the way, any thoughts from the Foundation on the green garden of wavy gravy grass that is taking over the Madison from McAtee down)?


   The Foundation continued to make a "Steward" out of anyone who had a fat wallet.

   I guess money talks.


   Another Director has resigned and the Board contunues to be a merry-go-round.


   I have hope for the future but until MRF proves otherwise I have doubts.


   But you can still "WIN THIS BOAT"...for this year, anyway. And that is a good thing.win_this_boat

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by Randy
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“It was like a sledgehammer with teeth,” Orr said. “She was not just biting, but she would just forcefully slam me down, pick me up and shake me, umm, move me all over. I’m getting my face slammed into the dirt, my chest is getting smashed into my knees.”





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by Randy
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                    with Tom's sons Peter and Tim Morgan...I took both these guys tarpon fishing in The Keys.


              with RIO founder and fly line guru Jim Vincent


    with Sage rod designer Jerry Siem, world class fly angler Diana Rudolph and their son Nash


   Over 200 folks attended this remembrance of the man who brought Winston Rod Co. to Montana and went on with wife Gerri to create the finest of fly rods at Tom Morgan Rodsmiths. More than that, he was a helluva guy who I fished with, played golf with and was proud to call my friend.tom_morgan

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by Randy
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on Friday, 14 July 2017
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   when_sin_stops   eddie_reeves

   "When Sin Stops" is the title of the 409 page book written by my friend Eddie Reeves about rock n roll music and country music and West Texas music and folk music and music by Kim Karnes, Faith Hill, Randy Travis, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly and Eddie's band in Amarillo, "The Nighthawks"...it is about Phil Spector and Kenny Rogers...it is about Eddie's amazing life...it is about life in the music business, the business of writing songs and recording songs and playing in bands, and about Hollywood and Nashville and life behind the scenes of all this stuff that Eddie and I were right in the middle of.

   Eddie did much more than talk the talk,  he remembered most of it and he wrote it all down.

   And while he was at it he wrote "Don't Change On Me" for Ray Charles and "All I Ever Need  Is You" for Cher and "Rings" for Cymarron and many more.

   We were best buds in Hollywood in the 1970s...I even made pg. 139-140 of the book but hey, THE BOOK IS NOT FOR SALE!

   Eddie self-published 150 hard cover copies for family and friends so ya gotta know somebody!martoni_1970

Martoni's restaurant...Sunset & Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood..."hangout of the stars"...where Eddie & I did most of our damage in the 1970s. Last stop for Sam Cooke before he was shot dead in 1964. Long since closed, the building is currently a print shop.


               "The Nighthawks" featuring Eddie Reeves far left.



   Eddie with Jeff Foxworthy, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Faith Hill.


      Eddie & daughter Sophie with Faith Hill and Keith Urban.


                    With David Ellingson and Kim Carnes



    An incredible book of hard work and love...thank you Eddie for your many years of friendship.

   PS...where is my spiff for "Rings"???

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by Randy
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by Randy
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    What folks who knew him well are saying about the man who knew more about the Beaverhead River and its big fish...how they ate, bred, survived and died...than anyone who ever lived: Tim Mosolf.


   "I am heartbroken to say the least! Tim Moslof aka "Hoho" you hold a
special and very dear place in my heart and have for a very long time! A
friend, a teacher, a guide, a father figure and a legend! I have so many
amazing memories that include you and I am so very grateful that we came
to visit you and fish with all of our little squid 2 summers ago! I am
thankful my kids know Hoho! May you be at peace! We will miss you more
than words can tell! Fish whisperer and so much more! @zpartyof5" Michelle Zavodny


   "Broken and empty as I have to say goodbye to my guide-father, mentor, and
teammate for the last 30 years. No one will ever replace you as my
partner in crime, and no team will ever strike the fear of God into these
young guides like we did. Apparently it was your time to put on the old
size 8 beadhead prince nymph one more time, and go to the Henneberry in the sky. Save some Meister Braus for me and we'll drink them all when I get there. Your guide son, Dan." Dan Allen


   "From day one until forever, I'm blessed to have had you in my life. I'm
unbelievably lucky to get "extra dads" by being in the guide community,
and you were one of the best. Your big bearded appearance paralleled your
easy going, "teddy bear" personality, making you the perfect antithesis
to my dad's obsessive-compulsive antics and inability to grow facial
hair. You two were a force to be reckoned with, and it will be difficult
for him to hold down the fort without you. You were a legend and the
guide community won't be the same. Thank you for teaching me all of those
important Spanish words, sharing stories in our Mini parking lot
encounters, and teaching us how to hit balls into the backyard "golf
course"! I know you're somewhere where the fish are fat, the drinks are
cold, and no one is getting their flies stuck in the trees. Forever
grateful, and with all my love, I will miss you always, Mo!" Jaymee Allen


   "Dear Friends and Family of Tim/Mo/Razzmo,
I am Tim's daughter in law, and I am writing on behalf of Jesse and
Christina, Tim's children. They would like to thank you for all of your
kind messages about their beloved Dad. For those of you wanting to help,
we will be setting up a memorial fund for Tim and I will post the
details today. We are shocked, sad, tired and forever changed. Thank you
for your support and please be patient with responses to messages as we
still have a lot to do." Kristina Okonski

   "Father, Brother, Son. A master of his craft, a Beaverhead river legend.
Our family is grieving deeply, please be cool.

Frontier Anglers fly shop, Dillion, Mt has established fund for a
memorial for this giant of the Beaverhead community. Visit site.
We had many Abaco Bonefish, San Diego Bay, Barre Navidad Mx, California
Carpin', Alaska Steelhead adventures and, of course, on the Beaverhead
and Big Hole. 20 yr back, daughters saw him sleeping and thought he was
Ho-Ho- Santa, name stuck. We will miss our "Bro". Ted Wallace


   "In addition to his regular guide clients, many in the fishing community
came to know Tim Mosolf through Castwork, a book that featured
photographs by Liz Steketee of some of the best fly-fishing guides in the Angler and Guide, a mentor to his peers, demonstrating a commitment to
Simms featured Tim on the cover of our 2004 Catalog and in our ad
campaigns. For years, a giant photograph of Tim adorned the walls of our
headquarters in Bozeman and that image always reminded us why we chose
fly fishing as our passion and business.We have lost a friend, colleague and man of immense import to our shared
passion, but we are grateful for the time Tim spent sharing his love for
what we all love. And that has made us all better. K. C. Walsh, Simms Fishing Products"mo_simms


   "Tim Mosolf drew his nymph rig for me on a coaster at Macs for quadruple
rum and whatever 17 yrs ago. He was such a kind and gentle soul. I owe
ALL my success on the Beaverhead to his guidance. As do most others in
this valley. The fish on the upper river will sleep better now. RIP Mr
Mosolf...." Bradley Gene Platt


   "Zack Medina with Tim Mosolf...A day that I never could have imagined has come to pass. It has left me
shocked and deeply saddened. Like so many people whose life you have touched, I still remember the
first day I met you. The way your hands always seemed to be held in a
loose grip even when they were empty (as if you were still holding an
oar/net/beer or working on a rig). How your booming laugh was so distinct
that it could never be mistaken for another. From that day forward, we
shared a thousand conversations, laughs and stories about this crazy
world, and life in general. You always had the best advice:"If you go slow you can go some mo. If you go too fast you won't last"."Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things."On fishing: "Just throw it in the water."On guiding: "A monkey could do it."Buff to Henny will never be the same. I cannot put into words how much
your friendship and kindness have influenced my life. You taught me so
much, whether by intention or by coincidence, and I thank you for that. You are a good man Tim Mosolf, and more than that, you are a timeless
soul. Please know that your light will continue to shine on. Carried by
those of us who were blessed enough to know you. I will never forget you
my friend. Fair winds" Zack Medina.


    Sometimes when you look deep into the shadows under the High Bridge, instead of gentle swirls and eddys you see demons or the devil himself or mock-heroes and villains, or worse. 

   Makes no sense. All the love and respect you feel and now the riffles and pools turn dark...black holes with no bottom, way over the top of your waders.

    I did the best I could and I shared it the best I could. And now what?

   Aww, fuck it...have another paddle juice.

   Learned so much from you, Mo, and hardly any of it was about fishing. 

  Remembering you with deep respect...Randy B. mo_on_the_beav

  Tim Mosolf 1/25/1947 - 5/30/2017






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DR. RONALD LOSEE...OCT. 29, 1919-MAY 14, 2017

by Randy
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This obituary appeared in The Montana Standard and The Bozeman Chronicle. Doc Losee was a legend in our valley. He will be sorely missed and always remembered with a smile. The writer is anonymous.doc_losee




It is difficult to write about Doc Losee. There is so much to say it would take pages. We were thinking that if he would be able to put this in his words it might go something like this….



I walked off the face of the Earth today.



I closed my eyes… then, darkness – nothing… the big void. Like before you were born.

   I was prepared for this; to let nature take its course, and now this big wonderful life is over.


   I was born October 29, 1919 and grew up in a small village along the Hudson River in New York State called Upper Red Hook, on my Grandad Teator’s Apple Farm. Grandad Teator was an enthusiastic amateur naturalist and thru his tutoring I learned the complex laws of nature, and cultivated a deep reverence for all living things. Dominie French, the local Dutch Reform minister taught me that it is a privilege to live, and for that privilege, you should live your life in service of others. So when I was 12 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a Doctor like my Grandad Edwin K. Losee, and Great-Grandad John A. Losee. I attended College at Dartmouth N.H., the worst 4 years of my life, where I majored in Chemistry and had to memorize thousands of chemical formulas and can’t remember a damn one of them, oh yeah H2SO4 is Sulphuric Acid. I graduated from Dartmouth Cum Laude, and got accepted to Yale Medical School. I spent the rest of my life un-learning everything they taught me. The last year at Yale, I was conscripted into the Army and graduated with my MD and as a Captain at the tail end of WWII. Those were troubling times but I came out with a wife, Olive, and a surplus Jeep that I had to paint blue. Becky was born in Kentucky and with her in the back of the jeep, Olive and I headed out west. We discovered Ennis and the Madison Valley in 1949. Son Jonathan was born in 1950. The rest is history.




I sure loved living! And I sure will miss it. You come and go and do not know.




I’ll miss the folks in Montana. My patients… I’ll miss the long intense times I spent with each and every one of them watching, listening, examining, touching, thinking so hard about their medical problems. I’ll miss the closeness I felt to a patient and the mutual respect we had for each other. I’ll miss love.




I’ll miss the Valley, the river, the Madison range in alpenglow late in the evening, the nighttime howl of the coyotes, wildflowers on the Gravelly Range, the black and white contrast of a herd of angus against a wind-blown snow-packed benchland, the rising of a full moon, the sound of my plaster-covered wing-tips in the dark hallways as I made my late-night patient rounds.




I’ll miss my stuff; my wool shirts and hats, I’ll miss my toys, my trains, my dear friends and professional colleagues, my kids Becky and Jonathan, their spouses Kit and Cathy and grandkids Joshua, Amber and Deirdre and great-grandkids Evelyn, Sylvie, Rowan and Grayson.

   I miss Olive. She was my soul mate. It has been a lonely 9 years since she passed away.




I have no regrets.




I was impeccably honest and lived by the Golden Rule. I did unto others what I would have had them do to me. And it served me well.




I’m so damn glad I chose to live the way I did, I am so glad I doctored, with intense devotion to my profession, I am so glad I loved strongly and passionately and with humor. I am so damn happy, you’ll have to bring me down with a string.




Doc Losee passed away at the Madison Valley Manor May 14, 2017. He worked for and was a devoted supporter of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Bozeman, Butte and Montreal and would appreciate that any donations in his name be sent to that organization: www.donate2sch.org, and an RE Losee MD Memorial account has been set up at the First Madison Valley Bank.

A memorial service will be held in Ennis at the Pole Barn Rodeo Grounds June 17, 2017 11:00 AM. He worked for and was a devoted supporter of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and would appreciate that any donations in his name be sent to that organization: www.donate2sch.org.

























































































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by Randy
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   I would call the decade of the 1980s the salad days on the Bighorn River.  Previously a warm water fishery until the completion of the Yellowtail Dam in 1967, it quickly developed into one of the most fertile tailwater trout breeding grounds anywhere in the world. But few knew because it was closed to the public...only the Crow were allowed to fish and other than a few bait slingers and lure chuckers, nobody much bothered with it. I used to guide a gentleman on the Madison and Beaverhead by the name of Jack Love who had a ranch in Sheridan, Wy. He would tell me tales of the Bighorn where he had finagled his way on to fish.jack_love

                Jack Love, Sheridan, Wy. on the Beaverhead R.

                                           (Randy Brown photo)


"You know I only have had two trout mounted for my wall," he told me, "a ten pound rainbow and a twelve pound rainbow. I caught 'em both on the Bighorn using a Bitch Creek."

    Mr. Love would special order his Bitch Creek nymphs unweighted from Dan Bailey's, size four and size two, with the rubber legs head and tail untrimmed, dangling four inches each end. He would rod-tip twitch 'em like a streamer.


    His claims of big fish captured my thoughts.


    How can I get on the Bighorn?


    The answer came in 1981 when legislation was passed to allow public access to the Bighorn River up to the high water mark. After a brief kerfuffle at The Two Leggings Bridge near Hardin and some negative national press, the coast was clear and a bunch of us planned our maiden voyage to the Bighorn, fully armed with a fleet of drift boats, one canoe and boxes and boxes of secret flies.


   It was September, 1981.


   We were not disappointed.bighorn_group_9-81

 Richard Rosolek, Bob Walker, Tom DiMeola, Nancy DiMeola, John Seaman..Afterbay boat ramp, Bighorn R., Sept. 1981

                            (Randy Brown photo)


   Floating down a new river for the very first time is Forrest Gump’s chocolate box…you’re not sure what you’re going to get but you know it’s going to be good. We drifted down below the dam and under the power lines. Around the first bend to the left was a smooth pocket of water that was boiling with rising fish. We had on Girdle Bugs and Bitch Creek Nymphs. It didn’t really matter.bighorn_bow_2_9-81

                                       A fine Bighorn rainbow


   First cast, WHAM!...twenty inch rainbow and so on and so forth. The fish weren’t picky (stupid is a better word), and we caught them most of the way down. Then late in the day and into the evening out came the black caddis...hordes of them. Angry trout smacking on the surface, ripping line, burning drags, eating up backing.bighorn_2_9-81

 Bob Walker, Randy Brown, Richard Rosolek at Bighorn Access (13 mile), Bighorn R. Sept. 1981


   One afternoon, late in the day, we hung around the boat ramp at the Bighorn Access (13 Mile). A group of spin and bait guys in john boats from Billings were rolling in. They beached the boats, pulled out Coleman coolers and popped them open along the shore. Out rolled slabs of crimson red and golden brown…large trout, many well over twenty inches flopped out, slithering through grass and gravel. Filet knives flashed, bright orange shrimp-fed fish flesh was laid open, gills and guts were flung out into the river amid much shucking and jiving and loud boasting…”Son,  thatsa hog!”


               Bob Walker with Bighorn bow...Sept. 1981. Dave Shuler's canoe in background. (Randy Brown photo)


   On that first trip, we saw firsthand what The Bighorn was…an incredible fish factory.


   I guided anglers quite a bit on the Bighorn through the 1980s, making the 300 mile run from Ennis to Ft. Smith, Mt. for a week at a time in Aug. Sept. and Oct.


   Some of my notes from those days:


Oct. 22, 1987…AB to 3 (Afterbay to 3 Mile)… 5-8pm…hundreds of risers on #18 BWO…caught several nice fish


Aug. 10, 1988…caught 10 fish over 18” on shrimp and PMD emerger…22” bow went 4 lbs…Schneider’s to BA (Bighorn Access)


Aug. 17, 1988…30 fish day on shrimp nymph and comparadun dry…13 fish in side channel 2-4pm sipping small dries…6 bows, 7 browns, black caddis & midges late pm…4 over 18”


Aug. 18, 1988…Big fish at Soap Ck. channel…20" bow on shrimp…bigger fish working late pm in Rainbow Hole on #16 cream comparadun…5 trout over 18” on dries.


Aug. 17, 1989…Overcast, rain on and off…big fish bit all day…50 fish hooked, 34 landed all on shrimp…all nice fish…nothing under 15”…Schneider’s to BA…pd. $250 check.


Aug. 18, 1989…31 trout hooked, 21 landed on shrimp, PMD emerger, pheas. tail…20 ½” bow…Schneider’s-BA.


Aug. 20, 1989…25 trout below Schneider’s by noon…all over 15”…31 for 51 for the day…all on #14, #16 shrimp patterns.bighorn_shrimp

                                Bighorn shrimp pattern      


   Sept. 6, 1989…super good today 9am-2pm on caddis & PMD emergers size #16…30 trout, 20” brown, two 19 inchers.


Sept. 7, 1989…fished Big Riffle across from Schneider’s…big fish busting dry caddis…#14 elk hair…20” brown, 19” bow before noon.


Sept. 8, 1989…AB to Schneider’s…clouds, drizzle, rain…13 fish before lunch…major baetis hatch 2-5pm…thousands of flies…#16 flashback, #18 BYO…20” bow on dry.


Sept. 9, 1989…Schneider’s-BA…13 trout 11am-2:30pm on #16 elk hair caddis and caddis emerg…4 big fish at Soap Ck 4pm…3 fish at Cliff Hole on caddis emerg…25 trout total, 20” bow, 20” brown.


Sept. 11, 1989…Schneider’s-BA…13 fish at Big Riffle…19/31 for the day, most on caddis emerg.


Sept. 12, 1989…Big Riffle…PMD emerg…14 trout largest 19”, 20”…Soap Ck, two big browns on shrimp in upper stretch…Jerry lost huge brown.


Oct. 5, 1989…Schneider’s am, big trico spinner fall …20 trout on dries.


Oct. 6, 1989…Great BWO hatch in Schneider’s channel am…many risers…caught 10 on dries & hare’s ear.bighorn_map_1


     Map of first 6 1/2 mi. of Bighorn R. from Afterbay boat ramp

                                         (click to enlarge)




  Map of second 6 1/2 mi. of Bighorn R. to Bighorn Access (13 mi) 

                                                     (click to enlarge)


   1989 was my final year guiding on the Bighorn. The fishing was and is still great but just too crowded for my liking. It remains a world class fishery. I was so lucky to experience it at it's peak and the memories are priceless!







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