Tanner with a Missouri River rainbow

A quick local guy and caddis fly story here.  The other evening I headed upstream to fish between the dam and the bridge for a while.  I hoped to see some rising trout to cast to.  I looked around a while and tried to make a plan.  As it turned out the water was very quiet, nothing really happening as far as fish eating on the surface.

Not ready to go back to Helena yet, I rigged up to fish some nymphs through a nice little run.  I wasn’t really disappointed that I ended up drifting nymphs.  I like to drift them and in the end, I’m there to catch fish.  Nymphs catch fish, right?  I picked up a couple of those very familiar MO Rainbows.  Always a great feeling to have a fish in hand.  In the meantime, an angler enters the water a ways below me.  Looks like he’s watching the bobber too.

As the sun crept lower in the sky and the shadows became longer, I notice several splashy rises around me that were all within reach form my current position.  Quickly I tied on a stocking wing caddis and find that my JetFuel is near my ankle inside my waders. Shit. Oh well, I decide to cast it anyway.  First pass, nothing. Second pass I see a beautiful slow sip to my fly and ‘bam’, it’s on.  Doesn’t get much better than that. I dry the fly off the best I can with false casts and let it ride some more.  Within a couple of minutes, I see another one of those sips at my fly and another big MO Bow!  This one runs down near the other guy who exclaims “that is so cool!”  I holler to him that they are going to eat caddis and he ties one on too.  Sure as heck, within a couple more minutes, the young fella has a fighter on the end of his line.

I could see he was excited about this fish so I wandered down to see if I could get a photo for him.  What a beautiful Missouri River Rainbow!  Immediately I recognize him as one of our CrossCurrents customers who’d been in the Craig shop earlier in the day.   After snapping a photo to share with him we introduce ourselves and have a nice conversation.  Turns out this guy is Great Falls native Tanner Bleskin.

Tanner just finished school at Montana State University.  While at MSU he had a more than stellar career playing receiver for the Bobcats.  Tanner’s character and accomplishments on and off the field are what make us Montanans very proud of our student athletes.  It’s always refreshing seeing local people visiting the shop and hitting the water.  Tanner will no doubt spend many more days fishing the MO.
Great Catch Tanner!


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