After a lifetime of fishing around the world, authoring articles and books, leading seminars at Outdoor Shows, and a career in education, Montana Grant often is asked repeating questions. Here are a few.
How did you get started in writing about the Outdoors?
Lefty Kreh was my mentor. He is the Father of Modern Fly Fishing. His manner, sense of humor, and knowledge about the outdoors were amazing. When I asked him how to get into writing, he said three things.
1.) Get published as often as you can in a variety of venues. Network.
2.) Always write from your experiences and give honest feedback. It may not be what everyone wants to hear, but it will be the truth. Write simply, so others understand.
3.) Never take yourself too seriously. Always ask questions and learn from others.
Using Lefty’s advice, I began writing for local fishing and hunting clubs, and publications. Most of the time, there was no fee. On occasion, I would make a few bucks that went into buying more hunting and fishing gear.
What type of fishing do you most prefer?
Whatever I am doing at the time. Fly or spin or a cane pole. Its all fun and has its own challenges. My favorite fishing Is when I am teaching others how to enjoy the sport. Anyone can figure out how to catch a fish but not everyone can teach others.
Who do you enjoy teaching the most?
Kids, women, and beginners are my favorite outdoor students. Everything is new, they are enthusiastic, and the first catch is so much fun. “Sports clients” that already know everything are no fun to be around. Guiding these clients made for long, long days. You usually knew 15 minutes into the trip that they were already experts and just wanted me to row the boat or carry their gun. Rarely did they ever get to the point where they might ask a question.
Is Fishing as great today as it once was?
Fishing has evolved and expanded. There are more fishermen today than I can remember I over 65 years. We learned how to fish on our own as kids. If you had a great Mentor that helped. We had no YouTube, Google, Videos, or apps to help us learn. There were some good books but when it came to tying flies, books were tough to follow. Gear is so much better today. Quality lines, leaders, hooks, boots, vests, …everything makes fishing easier. When the movie a River Runs Through It came out, fly fishing exploded. It continues to expand as the new cool thing to do. Women have also crossed barriers and have entered the outdoor world in force. The fishing is still great, but the catching has declined.
What is the future for fishing?
As the sportsmen and human populations grow, fishing will decline. Access is a huge problem. Everyone wants their own piece of heaven and then to restrict access when they get it. This forces everyone onto already crowded waters. Fish can only withstand so much pressure. Poor Catch and Release, full kept limits, and abuse to the fish and their environment will cause more deterioration. Many anglers venture to Montana hoping for pristine waters. We used to catch 40 or more fish a day. Now its more like 5-15, if you are lucky. Sure, you may have some better days, but the average, size, numbers, and consistency have declined. Crowded waters also tarnish the quality experience we once enjoyed.
“The most important things that we learn, are the things you learn after you already know everything!”
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.