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Slice of River Life – Missoula Montana Guide Brooks Jessen

I have worked with Missoula fly fishing guide Brooks Jessen on water and in field for two decades.  He became a fishing guide on almost the same day I did.

He is a true veteran of the outdoors.

As a guide’s career wears on he has two distinct paths to choose: become jaded and angry or calmly funny. You will have about a 50/50 chance of either, but the longer you stay in the game the choice will become clear. Maybe not to yourself, but it will stand out to others how the outdoors sculpted your personal clay.

Brooks is of the comedic strain of fishing guides. Rain, snow, heat, bad casts, broken lines, fish caught, fish lost and excited clients who are embedded with us in something they only get short stays in provide for a constant conveyor belt of laughter.  A leaky seam on a $500 Simms fishing jacket during the wettest unforecasted front of the year is not a bane. A poorly casted fly into the biggest pod of dumbo slammer trout that scatters your tip opportunity like terrified chickens is not teeth grinding dose of boat poison. Broken boat winches and worn chines don’t deter enthusiasm. Rather these are the events that feed the next morning’s fodder for the morning guide crew coffee and nicotine conference.

The changeable nature of the outdoors forces you either to fight it, or laugh at it.

After over 2000 guide shifts Brooks still has a wry smile that keeps his boat elevated.  He has enough of it to go around.  I like to poke the cage looking for a spill of story and perspective.

I don’t know what the preacher from the story from the embedded video in this blog post thought about a small child doing boat laps in his baptismal fount thought about the chances of the baptism taking were, but I am sure Brooks was laughing.

Missoula Fly Fishing Guide Brooks Jessen

Brooks Jessen – Missoula Fly Fishing Guides