The Snag Hole

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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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by administrator
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on Monday, 28 August 2017
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   I have been taking John and Betty White fishing for years and years. After a long and successful career as an executive in the business world, John retired and along with Betty they began a wine business in their home town of Santa Barbara, Calif. “White Vineyards,” as their chardonnay is called, has become a big seller nationwide.

   Twenty years ago, the Whites built a summer home here in Montana and now spend the entire fishing season here. Their regular guide used to be my pal Skeeter before his accident but now they book me to guide them fly fishing every Tues. & Thurs, all summer long. After a day of fishing, you could usually find John and Betty hanging out with the locals tossing down a few cold ones at the Wagon Wheel Bar. They were among Smitty the bartender’s favorite customers, always leaving a generous tip.


   Every year at Christmas time, a case of White Vineyards chardonnay would show up at my door.

   The Whites are active in our local community donating their time and money to the hospital and town library as well as the local Trout Unlimited chapter. You really couldn’t ask for nicer people and I always look forward to our fishing days together.

   One day, as he always does many times each summer, John White paid a visit to Wally’s Fly Shop on Main St. He likes to keep his business local. Walking through the front door he saw a notice on the chalkboard. Beneath the usual “Fishing Report” and “Hot Flies” printed in big letters it said “Under New Ownership”. Needing some fresh tippet and a few flies, he entered and began browsing.   

   Unfamiliar music played through the shop sound system. A slender man in his early twenties sat on a stool behind the counter chatting with an attractive young lady dressed in black, skin tight spandex stretch pants, Teva sandals and a blaze orange form fitting gym workout shirt. Her tongue was pierced. A faint trace of white powder was visible between her right nostril and upper lip.

   The guy wore a faded cap that said “Yeti”. He had a neck tattoo showing a rainbow trout jumping through a ring of fire, stud earrings in both ears and one pierced eyebrow with tiny fish hooks all in a row. A man-bun was visible,  protruding from the back of his cap.

   His groomed, dark facial hair was perfectly trimmed, as if he had just walked out of a Vidal Sassoon men's styling salon.

   John White wandered down the rows and racks of flies, not finding the size 18 olive-body comparaduns he was looking for to match the hatch on the spring creek he had fished the day before.

   The kid behind the counter ignored him.

   The chick in spandex also ignored him.

   After several minutes, Mr. White walked up to the counter.

   “Excuse me, would you happen to have any size 18 olive body comparaduns?”

   The young man snickered.

   “Size 18? You gotta be kiddin me bro, we got big trout around here, no need for little pussy flies like that. Go find the size 2 Sculpzillas at the end of the aisle and catch yerself a real trout”

   He went back to chatting up the babe.

   John White, who had been fishing the Madison for thirty years, also had access to some prime spring creek water in the area. Large trout in the 18”-22” class could be found routinely sipping small dry flies. Just the other day he had landed two twenty inch browns on the #18 comparadun and broke off two other big fish.

   “No, that’s ok, if you don’t have the comparaduns, I guess I’ll just buy some 6x tippet and be on my way.”

   The kid behind the counter looked up with disdain.

   “6X tippet? Hah! The fuck, bro...do you know where you are at? This is the Mighty Madison…this is the NFL of fly fishing, my man…6X tippet, that’s pansy…you don’t need no 6X tippet…use this.”

He handed over a spool of "OX Super Strong Carbon Fiber Wire Nylon Nuke” tippet material in 16 pound test.

   “No thanks…I’ll just take these and be going."

   John White laid out a few plastic baggies of fly tying materials he had picked out, a dozen size 18 Parachute Adams dry flies and two spools of 6X tippet.

   Unimpressed, the shop kid rang up the total sale.

   “That’ll be $55.60 for yer total”

“That’s fine, could you just put that on my tab? John White, Jeffers, Montana…I should be in your system”

“Tab, what tab? No more tabs, bro, We gotta new owner, new attitude, new sheriff in town. From now on, it’s instant payment. The new owner is all business, can’t afford to deal wit da deadbeats, ya know what I mean?”

   “But I’ve had a tab here for twenty years. I always pay up at the end of the summer. This is my favorite fly shop. I do all of my business here.”

   Indeed, if you totaled it up, John White had spent over $75,000 in this shop through the years.

   “Sorry brah, Mr. Prescott sez no more tabs and he's the boss. Will that be cash or credit card?”

   John White peeled of a $100 bill, completed the transaction and walked out of the fly shop into the bright Montana sun, glancing briefly at the “Under New Ownership” sign.

   He wondered.

   “Clocks” by Coldplay was playing through the fly shop speakers, wafting out through the door, following John White out on to Main St.black_mask_guy

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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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   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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“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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                    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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   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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      bobbers_2   Ran a trip with T-Bird the other day. We were at the boat launch at the wrong time ‘cause everybody else was there, too. Must have been fifteen rigs there gettin’ ready. People everywhere.

   The guide next to me in the parking lot was setting up fly rods for his anglers. He was youngish, slim, early twenties, groomed facial hair, stud earring in the left ear. In the right ear, a hoop dangled with a miniature gold fly reel attached. He had the paisley face mask around his neck even though the day was cloudy and gray. Had the bonefish up-downer hat that said “Belize Is For Belizians”and a canary yellow hoodie that had "Baddass" printed in black letters on the back.

   I wasn't sure if he was going fishing or auditioning for "Dancing With the Stars."

   He was yakking it up to his clients, an elderly couple in their seventies; a white-haired gentleman and his attractive wife dressed mainly in khakis and subdued tones.

    They were watching their young guide rig their rods standing next to the boat on trailer behind the guide's brand new black Toyota Land Cruiser SUV with enough rod racks on the roof to outfit a 30 day fishing safari up the Amazon and back.

   The entire rear portion of the vehicle was covered with bumper stickers…Tie One On, Got Trout?, Trout Hunter, Trout Stalker, Trout Slayer, Trout Snagger, Fish Whisperer, Fly Guy, Fish On, Strip It, Rip It, Hump It, Twitch It, Tease It, The Best Way To A Man’s Heart Is Through His Fly, A Life Without Fly Fishing Is Not Worth Living and “Bite Me”.

   I thought, this dude has a strong desire to be noticed. As he rigged the rods he brought out a large, clear plastic box with rows of compartments, set it out on the tailgate of the truck and laid it open.

   Inside were bobbers, lots and lots of bobbers, hundreds of bobbers, bobbers of every color imaginable…red ones, white ones, red and white ones, yellow ones, green ones, orange ones, light blue, turquoise, sky blue, Carolina blue, hot pink, fuchsia, magenta, lavender, chartreuse, blaze orange, lime green, deep purple, candy striped, pin striped, tiger striped…round, egg shaped, quarter inch, half inch, three quarter inch, plastic, cork, balsa and bubinga.

    So many bobbers.

   The guide was explaining to the couple and to anyone else in earshot in a loud, excitable voice:

   “ This red one here, I use it when the fish are really biting, on cloudy days I go to the hot pink, blaze orange or magenta. To get the fish excited I use the lime green and candy stripe…I use deep purple for sunny days, barber pole for foggy days, turquoise for rainy days, and this sparkly one here I use just before a storm rolls in.”

   “I will usually start with the half inch and work my way up to the three quarter inch.”

   “I have experimented with the fuzzy bobbers made of sheep’s wool, goat wool, mohair, cat hair and cotton candy. I even tried using hair from my pet golden retriever Muffy, but a few of my clients are allergic to fur so I went all synthetic all the time.”

   “Because of the extensive research I have done, Fly Fisherman Magazine has asked me to write an article on bobber fishing but I said no way! Don’t want my secrets getting out there.”

   “Fly Fishing The Universe” wanted to do an hour TV Special on me and my bobbers but they couldn’t pay me the money I wanted. I have turned down a lot of offers.“

   “People ask me all the time if I have ever taken any famous people fishing, you know, celebrities. I am a modest guy and don’t like to brag, but I have taken…well I almost took Lindsey Lohan once but she had to cancel at the last minute. Of course she sent me a nice check. Justin Bieber’s people are talking to my people…next summer is looking REAL good for me and The Beebs. AND Mylie Cyrus is interested.”

   The white haired man and his wife’s eyes were beginning to glaze over.


   “ The word of mouth is definitely getting around about me and my bobber fishing. There is a loud buzz surrounding me in the fly fishing world. I am so busy, so tired, so popular, so in demand, booked solid...you guys are lucky to have me today."


   I noticed by now the lady angler had gotten back in front seat of the Toyota and was dozing off.


   "The thing about this bobber fishing is never give up, stick with it, keep trying...just follow my lead and I will show you the way. Well that’s about it, folks. Enough about me and my bobbers.”


    By this time the guide was pretty much talking to himself.

   “ Any questions”?


   The elderly gentleman cleared his throat,

“Yes, I have a question, can we go fishing now”?



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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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