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The Great Montana Upper Radiator Hose Massacre

Posted by Tom Chandler 6/29/2008

We're back at the home of the Trout Underground's Anonymous Director of Freeloader Montana Fly Fisherman Housing
- unexpectedly so.

The fly fishing on Rock Creek has been excellent; the trout were jumping on our Golden Stone dries non-stop.

Yesterday found me holding my first pure-strain Westslope Cutthroat (pretty thing) in the net. Today it was non-stop brown trout, with a few cutt-bows mixed in to foment suspense.

Adding to the Extreme Fishing Situation
(imagine a rock soundtrack playing under this report) was the oddly pleasant high-modulus "crack" generated when a high-end graphite rod simply snapped in half when my big, burly, sinewy, extremely manly arms attempted a hookset into a big, big brown trout.

Us writers are slight, but wiry.

Later, we pulled out [name redacted]'s mini-drifter, but when we arrived at Stony Creek campground, the hissing from under the truck's hood was audible.

The upper radiator hose had passed from this plane of existence, and if we were going to drift Rock Creek tomorrow (Monday's the last day you can fish it from a boat), we needed a replacement. Fast.

Fortunately, we had the Subaru shuttle car handy.

Which is where it gets a little weird.

Montana's not exactly bereft of Ford pickup trucks. In fact, they're pretty much everywhere, but apparently, nobody feels the need to stock this particular hose.

After three hours of driving, we discovered the only hose in the area was back in Missoula -- our starting point Saturday morning.

We made the 2.5 hour drive back, retrieved the Extremely Valuable Radiator Hose, then swung by the [name redacted] homestead for a quick shower (yeah, we needed it), a little beer, and a lot of food.

With two more hours of driving still to come, I sat down and added up the chilling figures; by nightfall, I'll have spent 26.5 hours in a car seat since Friday morning.

I think I've seen as much of the world from behind the windshield as I care to - at least for now.

We're almost back out the door.

Back... Wednesday? Probably. Should have a few pictures, but Rock Creek's not exactly a leisurely float; the river is moving fast, there are damned few places to eddy out, and you're focused on hitting the slack spots on the bank.

All of which leaves little time for photos. But because you are my friends, I'll endeavor to shoot a few.

See you on the water, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

19 comments
[...] The Great Montana Upper Radiator Hose Massacre [...]
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[...] too damn convenient a tale not to have some kind of unsavory involved. No one busts a rod without pointing fingers and [...]
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Well, you truly are "the man." Just back from Idaho. Cut a tire on a gravel road and actually CHANGED THE TIRE MYSELF. Damn, no photos of my prowess. This event preceded me extracting my credit card at the nearest Les Schwab for a brand new set of four. Granted, it was no 5 hour round trip to correct the problem, but it was quite painful.
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For those who doubt my considerable mechanical prowess:
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The Underground's back in Missoula again. Need a shower and to wash the clothes that are basically standing on their own at this point. I'm sure I look and smell my best. Many, many fish fell to the Underground's flashing Fly Line of Doom. Visioning a hot meal, and then I'll sit down to write.
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The Trout Underground : We found the information you post really useful, and we decided to make a review about it in our website. You can check it out at : http://www.mombu.com/fishing/fishing/t-mombu-recommends-the-trout-underground-1674294.html#post6436203 Our score is : 8.8
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Damn. The fishing must be good.
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I must have seen you there...the Creek is indeed fishing well, although I'd love to see it when it is wadeable.
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Hope you are having a blast,(I know you are). I will see you soon. David
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In regards to your mathematical analysis of the time spent on the road, I have had a longstanding belief that in many things we do a good portion of that time is spent "futzing" and not doing the actual activity. I believe that nothing beats fishing for the futzing factor and if I spent 10% of the time fishing that I spent futzing for fishing I would be...well, I still would be a frustrated fishless ... more fisherman.
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Folks - pictures will not be forthcoming. I heard from a guy whose cousin said her in-laws were camping at Stony Creek just this last weekend. According to this oft-credible source, said in-laws wound up moving to another site after being woken up in the wee hours of the morning by some crazy guy banging on his engine with... A camera. Say it isn't so, Mr. Chandler.
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The thoughts that come to my mind concerning this well-timed trip shall not be put in writing. Your secret is safe with me. Regards, and good fishing. KJ
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Looking forward to photographic evidence of a good trip.
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One of the best notes ever, it is about just about everything. JHector
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"Pics of the radiator hose too. It's not that we think you're making the whole story up, mind you, it's just that you're a fisherman after all." but, please, please, please, let us just trust you that you took a shower. no photographic proof needed on that! Good luck on the drive home!
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[...] The Great Montana Upper Radiator Hose Massacre - We're back at the home of the Trout Underground's Anonymous Director of Freeloader Montana Fly Fisherman Housing - unexpectedly so. The fly fishing on Rock Creek has been excellent; the trout were jumping on our Golden Stone dries #8230; [...]
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Pics of the radiator hose too. It's not that we think you're making the whole story up, mind you, it's just that you're a fisherman after all.
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Quit teasing us and bring on the pictures!! Hope you had a great trip!
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Well, at least he wasn't crying ... snap a graphite and shrug it off, snap a bamboo ...
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