I always enjoy reading about fly fishing excursions to exotic countries, primarily because I’ll never get to visit any of those places myself due to, shall we say, financial considerations. My fly fishing travel experiences have therefore been limited to the domestic sort, such as Montana, for example.
A teeny little fishing village, Craig, is located about an hour north of Helena along the western bank of the Missouri River. Craig’s population in the winter months is zero, because, I’m just guessing, the village is totally buried during winter in two or more yards of snow.
So, I went there in an early spring after making lodging and guide arrangements. The guide’s name was Joe and he had, on his drift boat, the most expensive collection of fly rods I’ve ever seen. Of course, he refused to let me touch any of them, so I fished with a 12-foot-long bamboo “cane” pole.
Joe: Be careful with that pole, Smith! I paid almost six bucks for it!
Smith: Sorry! Hey, Joe, have you ever guided a celebrity?
Joe: As a matter-of-fact, yes. Most recently with an incredibly gorgeous and incredibly talented Hollywood actress. I’d tell you her name, but then I’d have to kill you because she swore me to secrecy.
Smith: Can’t give me even a hint?
Joe: Well, I’ll cleverly disguise her name: Tharlize Cheron. Happy now?
Smith: Deliriously. How well could she cast?
Joe: A helluva lot better than you, which ain’t say’n much since my third-grade granddaughter can cast circles around you.
Smith: So much for your tip, Joe.
Joe: Fine, and so much for lunch and for safely navigating through those class four rapids just ahead. Out of the goodness of my heart, I immediately tipped Joe a thin wad of twenties. He not only navigated properly, but also fed me a superb lunch, which I have ever since termed “Montana Sandwiches.”
Smith: Mighty fine cook’n, Joe. Mighty fine. By the way, how can anyone afford one of these Yeti coolers?
MONTANA SANDWICH RECIPE
Ingredients: Hillshire Farms smoked beef sausage, sliced muenster cheese, Ciabatti rolls, sliced yellow onion, fresh coleslaw mixed with Hidden Valley coleslaw salad dressing
Prep: Take a small folding table, a two-burner propane stove, a cheap frying pan and a $400 Yeti cooler out of the boat and assemble the kitchen, preferably along the banks of the Missouri River, if possible. Slice the sausage lengthwise, and simmer chunks thereof along with onion slices. Warm the rolls (which have been halved), then build the sandwiches and eat them.