Well  it is officially fall  now  and  2021 at Troutzoola Montana Fly Fishing is winding down. It has been an extremely busy year with many new guests, and lots of friends who have fished with us luckily returning.  The fall is my favorite season and my family and I look forward to the cooler weather, shorter days, leaves falling, migrating geese, bugling elk, and all the other wonderful aspects of how life is slowing down as we prepare for autumn and the onset of winter.  We have a few more fishing trips booked and we hope to finish strong as I look forward to going hunting with my family and our dogs.

We had some serious enduring conditions/ life events the last 2 months.  My wife/ Sandy’s brother Robby passed away from covid here in Missoula, Montana.  He was a good dude, mid aged, tough, old bull rider/ rodeo guy, horse shoer.  Rodeo is a tough sport and  Robby got hooked by a bulls horn on occasion.  Collapsed lungs, scar tissue, and other prior injuries, I wonder if these issues may have led to the severity of his covid?   This disease hits some people harder than others and does not discriminate.  Robby was also an ordained minister and was preparing to open his church in Arlee MT where he planned to  co-pastor this Fall.    Having to cope day to day with a family member fighting for his life on a ventilator, checking his status constantly, praying, worrying beyond belief for him, was all encompassing.  Robby was a wonderful brother in law, a kind, loyal friend, and an amazing brother to my wife and her siblings. We loved Robby, he will be extremely missed.

Robby putting on a show in Butte

Unfortunately my wife and I also got sick with covid in September. I did have to go to the ER but luckily my condition wasn’t too serious and I was sent home a few hours later.  I was out for about 21 days and was able to return to guiding last week.  My quarantine time ended and I  no longer have covid but I’m still fairly weak and have some lingering issues from being sick.  These ailments have recently made it tough to stay on the water with clients for a full guided day.  It has been good to get back to work on the rivers.

My wife and I chose to and were fully vaccinated and still got pretty sick.  This disease is really understood by no one.  The doctors at ST Pats in Missoula told me that being fully vaccinated gives you a much higher rate of survival if you come down with it. I hope this illness  doesn’t affect your families like it has ours.  We also had another  one of our guides get exposed to covid.  It was tough filling my spot and our other guides at the last minute and find available help to take some of our guests who just flew in  fishing.  Thanks Zack, Brian, and Bryan.

My twenty first year rowing a drift boat is almost at an end. It was a pretty good year with some real rough times.  It is imperative that we regroup and look forward to the days to come.  Tell all your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Nothing in this lifetime is guaranteed.  I feel we need to make the little things, time spent with family, watching sunrises/ sunsets, laughing together, early mountain mornings, pretty much living in the moment a priority.  It’s time for me to hang out with my son, grab a bow, a shotgun, maybe a rifle and maybe, maybe not fill an empty freezer.  My wife, daughter, our 2 young dogs, and I are headed to eastern MT in our camper to go bird and antelope hunting here next week.  I am a lucky man to have what I have.  Thanks for tuning in, and make your days count!

Brooks Jessen

Owner/ Outfitter of Troutzoola Montana Fly Fishing