After fishing on Vancouver Island for ten days, the three of us drove South and East across Washington, Idaho and into Montana. We stopped in Butte, MT where I purchased two Scientific Angler reels, then followed the Jefferson River towards Ennis, MT. When we arrived, we set up a campsite at Valley Gardens and returned to town for groceries. While there, we met two hippies who invited us to party with them at the Sportsman’s Cafe and Lodge – which was in the process of being rebuilt. I believe they were working on the reconstruction.
At the Lodge, we met an extremely attractive young woman riding a bike, She had a voice that reminded me of Lauren Bacall – smoky and sensuous. Her name was Allyson She invited us to a BBQ that her mother was having that evening. It was difficult for me to discern this woman’s age. She was somewhere between 13 and 25.
At the BBQ her mother asked where we were from. Fritz and Bernie were both actors who lived and worked in Munich. I had worked for the past three years as a publicist and manager in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. She asked me which firm I had worked for and when I replied, “Jay Bernstein”, she nearly fell over. It seems that Jay had represented her deceased husband, Nick Adams, as a client.
THE MOST challenging Publicist….EVER!!! (notice the “beepers” on the hips)
I travel 1300 miles to get away from the insanity of show business and find myself talking shop!
We spent a week fishing in the channels section of the Madison River. I tied one of my first successful patterns while camping by the river. It was called the “Mink Thing”( FF Mag. John Scharf Jan. ’75) and had been featured in a recent issue of the then new Fly Fisherman Magazine. Most likely, it imitates a Caddis Pupae ascending when fished on the swing, the article pointed out that the mink fur retains air bubbles, which endows the fly a realistic appearance. I tied them in size 14 & 16 on Mustard 3906B hooks with a dozen or more lead wire wraps. I have consistently used this pattern, in ensuing years, in the early spring throughout the West with wonderful results. I now tie it on TMC 5262 hooks with sable mixed with the mink.
Ennis, MT is one of my favorite places to visit and fish. It is no longer the sleepy little town that it was in the mid-70 but the bars Bernie, Fritz and I downed many “ Jack Blacks” in are still present.
I no longer imbibe and have not since June 1994 but I have an addiction (and so do my kids) to the crème Brule served at the Continental Divide restaurant there.
This morning after pill…
“Mink Thing” at Valley Gardens on the Madison River 1975
Ed’s Tackle Shop, Ennis, MT – The Giant Royal Coachman, 1975 (now the Orvis Shop)…
PT at Valley Gardens campsite on the Madison, 1975…