Let me first say “This is the Greatest Show on Earth”
When I was invited to participate in the E-12 I was only thinking of a nice fishing trip in Montana, was I ever mistaken.
Our Host Ron Clausen and his wonderful wife Kathy have to be the most giving couple or the most insane couple I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My eight day trip started from San Francisco to Missoula.
Ron greeted me at the airport and after a quick stop for lunch we where on our way to Rock Creek Ranch. Ron has constructed a piece of heaven with logs in paradise.
This log home is located on Rock Creek. Fishing is only a 2 min walk from the yard. After a quick change of duds for an evening out Montana style, we drove to our fully stocked chartered bus that would deliver us to Montana Matters and Jack Hanna. View Jack Hanna Post.
Found me fishing Rock Creek with Tyler Clausen and thinking it can’t get any better then this. Dinner and a cold beverage completed the day.
Started out fishing the creek and working on casting in the yard. Ron introduced me to a Bamboo fly rod created by Sweet Grass Rods. This company is the premier manufacture of Bamboo rods.
Bamboo rods are unique in the way they respond to every aspect of fishing. To my experience they require a longer rod loading time. The action is very sensitive… you can feel the water passing over the line. And when you hook a fish you can use all the rod has to offer in strength. there is no limit to the control you have with Bamboo. if you fell you are going to damage your rod think again. What I am saying is Sweet Grass bamboo rods are the top of the food chain.
The rest of the E-12 gang arrives from around the country. The group has been hand selected by Ron and Kathy and is there 10th annual event. We all meet at the Montana Club in Missoula for a meet and greet and lunch.
From there we went to Ron’s Blackfoot log cabin the other slice of heaven to get the plan of the week details. Ron has been a very gifting host from what I have seen and heard from the guest who have been attending the past 9 years. This being the the 10th Extravaganza I hear he is doing something to top all other years.
As we gathered around in the beautiful surroundings of the Blackfoot house listening to Ron thank us all for coming to this years event and his appreciation of family, friends and Montana he also mentioned Bamboo!!!! yes Bamboo. This years gift started 18 months ago at the home of Sweet Grass Bamboo Rods. Mr. Clausen commissioned….Well let’s hear from Ron.
“Well, gang, the word is officially out now—after more than 18 months in the planning stages Extravaganza 2012 saw each participant receive a custom made Sweetgrass 5wt 8’3” Mantra bamboo rod, individually engraved and serialized and complete with a companion private-issue Abel reel and maroon rod & reel carrying case!!
I have often been heard to say that “the only secret is that there is no secret at all”—well, that can no longer be truthfully said as this year’s big surprise was just that—a surprise to each and every one of our 79 (count ‘em!) participants.
Viva la Extravaganza!!
Who Gives this sort of Gift??????
Only Rock Creek Ron.
Drift boat fishing the big Blackfoot River. This is the river featured in A River Runs Through It. The weather was beautiful for this river, very little wind. My fishing partner Demetry “The Ghost” Kondrasheff and I loaded our new Bamboo’s and hit the water with our Guide leading the way. We caught between 40 and 50 fish a 5 mile drift using a hopper dropper combination.
The fish where holding a foot from the bank in the foam seam. When I mentioned the back bone of bamboo rods this is where it came into play. Set the hook and hold on for the high energy of 16 to 20 inch Rainbows and Browns.
Fishing the Bitterroot River. This was a wide river in surface area. The Bitterroot river moves its main runs each year after the snow melt. This movement is good for the fish habitat bad for the ranchers, as the river moves one year you may have a pasture for grazing the next you will have fisherman in your back yard. This is just the way of nature. Fishing this river was not a 50 fish day. 25-30 fish on dry fly’s no droppers.
Clarks Fork River was the last river on the trip to explore. This was to me the most scenic of the three rivers.
Clarks Fork River held bigger fish for the day than the last two rivers. This is to say you may not catch and release a lot of fish but when you do hook-up you can count on pulling in a hog!!!! This is just what happened. As the story goes ‘ You Should Have Seen The One That Got Away.” One the many unusual ways the property owners have tried to keep the river in control is to use the banks as a parking lot. This bank design holds good fishing.
After a full day of fishing it was time to party Rock Creek style.
The Hog has been on the spit all day. This is not your regular hog on the spit… try putting 6 whole chickens stuffed with sausages into the pig and sealing for good luck. The Party also include a casting competition. A good time was had by all.