Cowboys & Indians

Up On Triple Creek

I NEVER LEARNED BOOMER’S REAL NAME, WHICH IS JUST AS WELL, because nobody ever calls him that, anyway. Boomer — my flyfishing guide at the ultra-luxurious Triple Creek Ranch in Montana — got that nickname before he was even born. He kicked his mom’s insides so much that she told friends, “He’s a boomer,” and that stuck. It’s even on his driver’s license: His home is on Boomers Way.

Sporting sunglasses, a Boston Red Sox hat, and a salt-and-pepper goatee, Boomer picked me up at Triple Creek Ranch for the short drive to the Bitterroot River. Snow-draped mountains surrounded us. To our right, parallel to the highway, the river crawled through rocks and snow. Sometimes it was only a few feet wide, sometimes 20. Steering with his left hand, Boomer used his right to wave at the beauty. “This is my office,” he said. “The interior decorator did a great job.”

We parked at a public access site and tiptoed into the Bitterroot River. There’s an old joke that Montana rivers have two temperatures, cold and (bad word deleted) cold. I assume the former is true and can confirm the latter. My Triple Creek Ranch waders kept me warm and dry, but when I stuck my hand in the water out of curiosity, I quickly yanked it out.

I slid my feet across

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