Before I start in on this story, I feel it is necessary to explain briefly just who Flat Stanley is for the readers whom may have never heard his story. Flat Stanley comes from a 1964 children’s book written by a man named Jeff Brown. Stanley Lambchop is his real name and he was given a rather large bulletin board by his father, which was hung on the wall above Stanley’s bed where one night it fell on Stanley, flattening him to his paper-thin figure he is today. Stanley decided to use this new figure to his advantage, so he began to travel around the world by means of the postal service and an envelope, to visit all sorts of children. Stanley becomes very good friends with these children and shares with them his adventures by returning to them with pictures, postcards, souvenirs, and whatever else he feels like bringing back to them. This is where I come into Stanley’s story. Stanley is currently spending time with a little girl who is pretty much my niece back in Michigan. This little girl decided that Stanley needed to go on an adventure here in Montana, so she put Stanley in an envelope and sent him out to me.
Stanley arrived here to Cross Currents Fly Shop in Helena on February 4th from Michigan and the adventures immediately began with Stanley getting into anything and everything. In a thirty minute time frame, Stanley checked out our rack of fly rods, crawled into the fly reel display case, investigated the Tenkara USA rods, climbed up on the fly display table using our stuffed salmon as a sort of trampoline and was absolutely amazed by all the different patterns available, he went over to check out the waders, then back behind the counter, eye balling the Missouri River posters we keep on hand.
A few things came about because of his mad dash around the fly shop that day. First, he loved the waders and wanted a pair, so we searched high and low, did some digging, and we found a pair of Orvis waders that were just his size. Second, Stanley really liked that Missouri River poster, therefore he wanted to see the real thing, and luckily for Stanley, I just so happen to live up in Craig right next to the MO. Lastly, Stanley kept circling like a vulture, the huckleberry caramels, so he just had to try them, it was love at first bite!
During Stanley’s stay here in Montana, he was able to see many sights, he visited and hung out at both the Helena and the Craig shops, he learned how to tie flies, and discovered that the weather here can be extremely unpredictable. Stanley went for truck rides, explored the Wolf Creek Bridge, became very familiar with the Missouri River corridor between Holter Dam and the town of Craig. He learned the process of eBay by helping out a ton in the Helena shop putting things like Smith Optics sunglasses, Orvis rods, Korkers shoes and boots, and many other things on eBay. The thought even occurred to him to possibly use eBay to do some travelling in the future. His favorite day was when we took a three hour rode trip south to a spring creek to fish. As we drove, Stanley made the comment on how beautiful it was to see the mountains, fields, the rivers, and the wildlife first hand compared to seeing these things in pictures.
Stanley was with us for about a week and a half, we were unable to find a fly rod small enough for him, but he did get to see me in action a few times, he got to mingle with people at the shop, and he was able to collect some goodies to take back to Michigan to my niece. On top of the list of things he took with him was huckleberry caramels of coarse! If you haven’t tried these before, you really should stop by the shop and try one. He also took his Orvis waders, a river map of the Missouri, and a selection of flies that work great on the MO that Stanley himself helped to tie. In that selection were classics like the Woolly Bugger, along with an assortment of colors of Lightning Bugs and Zebra Midges. Stanley was pretty fond of the purple Lightning Bug and to be honest, so have the rainbow trout in the MO lately. There were many other things that Stanley took back with him, so needless to say, he was unable to return to Michigan in an envelope, so instead we fitted him up nicely with a luxury cardboard box for his travels.
Stanley thoroughly enjoyed his stay here in Montana and with us at the fly shop and so too would you. Come to Montana to see the sights and be sure to stop into the fly shop to see and touch all the things Stanley was able to enjoy!