The Montana Run
I could just some up the MT run in one blurb…”Highs in the single digits”, but I won’t. We left northern ID and headed east all the way across the state to Billings. But not without first spending a night in my old stompin’ grounds of Livingston, one of my favorite places in the world. In typical Livingston style, my boys had me doing shots and pounding PBRs within minutes of stepping foot in town.
It's Always Sunny In Livingston.
We arrived in Billings not really sure what to expect as far as a turnout. We had four local shops selling tickets, and for the most part online sales were slow. But as we soon learned, our now good friend Barrett Kaiser was busy as hell promoting the show in town, on radio and in TV ads. On top of that he put together a pre-show party, with wings, nachos and a keg of local brew. What a way to get ready for a show. On behalf of film tour crew I would like to personally thank Barrett and his wife for all their hard work, and ….letting us crash at their house. It was a much needed break from the daily hotel bouncin’, and blow up beds. Did I mention he had a new keg of IPA waiting for us too in his basement kegerator? Barrett, congratulations, you just won film tour fan of the year! Take advantage of the swag man, you deserved it.
Best wings of the tour, reminds me of back home in upsate NY.
Oh yeah, the show. It was our biggest in Billings by far…ever. We’ll be steppin’ it up a notch next year, so keep your ears open for the killer new venue announcement.
The line up.
More fine MT weather.
The next day we headed to Missoula, with a high of five, FML…So much for our day off of spring creekin’. Maybe next year. Before we even got to Missoula, the phone was ringing off the hook from the fly shops running out of tickets. We dropped off tickets as soon as we got to town. Woke up a bit hazy the next morning with the phone still ringing…”When can you guys get your asses back over here, we need another 100 tickets”. So we did. Then the phone rang again…notice a theme here? This was the beginning of what was about to be the epic night in film tour history. Right before the show, we were treated to another pre show party by the Grizzly Hackle, kegs, cans, dogs and burgers. Sweet diggity.
Packed house at the Grizz.
Not long after that we bounced for the show and instantly the line was forming. 20, 50, 150 people in line with temps around zero. Now that is dedication. When all was said and done, the dust cleared and we started to do a final count…..over 850 people!! What a party!!! I mean show, show, it was a great show. I really don’t have many pics because we were so busy the whole night, but man did this event rock. The F3T's single biggest show ever! The highlight of my first month on the road had to be watching the crowd react to an 8 yr old boy winning the Sage VXP outfit. It was truly something I will never forget, thank you Missoula MT, damm you are one fishy town!! We may have a good video of that raffle coming soon…
Cell pic of an ass ton of people.
Clearing out the masses.
The happiest damm 8 yr old in Montucky.
I woke up the next day “not good” to put it nicely. And my awkward feeling only got worse on the way to Bozeman. Believe it or not, it had nothing to do with the local brews of Missoula. I was sick. Very sick. I was pretty much a worthless sloth during the set up of the Bozeman show, and it only got worse. About 30 seconds before we were about to open the doors I made a B-line outside to take care of some upset stomach issues. Not even caring about the 100 or so people in line behind me while I keeled over and projected last night’s dinner clear into the Yellowstone. Blep.
I had the 24 hour bug, and killed any chance of me having any fun at what is it one of my favorite towns and shows. Shitty. But as far as the show goes, how do you think it went? It’s Bozeman. Everyone was wasted, had a blast, filled the seats and partied like rock starts till the sun came up. Except me…I was in the hotel room with the cold sweats. Blep again.
I always miss all the post show fun! Hahaha.
Woke up then next morning feeling like a million bucks…thank God, we had three days of fishing ahead of us. On our way south to Boise, we took a little detour to Five Rivers Lodge, one of the sponsors of this year’s tour. I have to say, Jay Burgin the owner has put together one fine operation down in Dillon MT over the last 25 years or so. He is also one of the coolest old timers I’ve ever ran into. We offered him a job on the road crew on the spot…he respectfully declined but did mention that if it was 50 years ago, he was in! We got the grand tour of the 35,000 sq. foot lodge; listened intently as Jay told stories about the numbers and size of the browns in his backyard…the stats are literally mind blowing. We also got to check out one of the largest fly selections in the world…fact. It was more flies than some fly companies have in stock. And the kicker is they are only available to guests…not a bad deal if you’re staying there if you ask me. Talk about some local secrets. Jay, nice to meet you man, I’m sure I’ll be back out your way real soon.
Fishy pics from the next three days coming soon...