Re: Why Did You Go There?
I love rivers and I don't like seeing rivers I can't fish. Which is a big reason my wife and I now live half the year in Montana. Colorado is beautiful and the rivers are gorgeous but the stream access laws just completely tick me off. Same with some other western states.
Another thing...I like to go to rivers where the fish are big and stupid...but only for a change. If all fishing was easy it would get boring pretty quickly. Trying to consistently catch good trout out of a river like the Yellowstone is a whole lot more interesting over the years than fishing some river in Alaska where the rainbows are all 28-32 inches long, though I'll take a week of fishing that river occasionally.
I'd been going to Yellowstone Park for a few years to get reference material for my "job"...wildlife art. I'd only fly fished a few times and owned one fly rod. Then I met a guy who lived to fly fish, and a few months after we met at a party, he invited me to go to Montana with him. We stayed at the Yellowstone Valley Lodge in the first of the two record flood years back in the 1990s, and every evening we'd study the river below and hope it would get clearer, but it never did. So we fished other streams...Sixteenmile Creek, the lower Madison, Armstrong's Spring Creek, a private lake, the West Boulder...and mid-way through the week I called my wife and told her that we were gonna have to buy a place out there. Well, it took about ten years, but we did it, and now it's hard to plan long trips to other parts of the country because we haven't even floated and fished and hiked every spot in our own little part of Montana.
There is something special about wild rivers, and living on the longest undammed river in America is pretty cool.