An Unconventional Spring Break Feature Image

Yes, spring break was in March, and it’s May. Even so, we received the following story from Sam Averett and thought the idea of heading to Montana in March for Spring Break was too good to pass up. Better Late than never. Enjoy.


While the majority of college spring-breakers packed their suitcases with board shorts and flip flops, good buddy Casey Kalbrener and I filled our duffels with waders and as many long-johns as would fit.  We packed the truck down with a full size barbecue and countless other “necessities” and hit the road to Montana for a week of fly fishing.

Monday morning found us knee deep in the icy spring water tossing flies to picky rainbows and browns. By late afternoon we were still fishless, and starting to doubt our glaringly average angling abilities. Discouraged, we began the long trek back to the pickup. On the way back we decided to stop and fish a side channel we had passed on the way in and on my second cast I hooked into our first fish of the trip; a pretty spring rainbow. Things were looking up, and over the course of the next hour or so we landed 3 or 4 more nice rainbows. Reaching the truck with high spirits that evening.

The next two days we hit the same section of water and had similar luck. Fun fishing no doubt, and some beautiful fish, but they weren’t coming easy.

On day four we decided to book a guided drift trip with the guys at The River’s Edge. We wanted to learn a little more about the fish we were chasing and see some fresh country. From the get go, our guide Chris proved invaluable. We got into a bunch of fish and learned a ton.

As the sun sank to the west and the day neared its end, Casey threw a picture perfect cast under a low hanging log near the bank. A sleek brown decided to reward him for his efforts; taking the rubber-leg nymph and hustling downstream. Casey fought him as Chris and I looked on, eventually bringing him to the surface where Chris slipped him into the net. A perfect fish to cap off a beautiful spring day on the water.

With a little fresh knowledge, we hit the river on day five. We managed to stay in fish all day, catching plenty and having a darn good time doing it. Lots of rainbows and a whitefish or two kept us tossing fly after fly until the evening crept up on us, forcing us off of the river and back into the pickup; our surrogate home.

Though maybe a tad unconventional, spring break proved a success. Lots of great spring fishing and lots of great people and memories made in Montana. A couple of rainy nights in the tent provided plenty of laughs for the future, and a good beer from Big Sky Brewing Co. now and then kept us in high spirits through some long days fishing.

Sam Averett

For more photos from the trip check out