I recently attended the Simms Ice Out Guide Event in Bozeman, Montana, and had the great fortune to not only meet some fantastic people, but to be surrounded by similar-minded fishing nuts.
A full three-day event, there were seminars about various topics pertaining to issues faced specifically by guides and outfitters. There was also a Guide Olympics which included trailer backing, accuracy and distance casting, rod rigging, and even a beer-laden cooler pull. There were question and answer forums discussing gear, marketing, health, and much more. More importantly, it was a chance to unwind over a beverage or two, and get to know each other as fishing guides and friends. And for many of us, it was a chance to meet new people from across the country who all share in a similar passion of fishing, be it with fly gear or conventional gear.
Sponsored by Simms Fishing Products, which is located in Bozeman, Montana, I had the pleasure to meet some true legendary figures like Dave Whitlock, John Simms (the founder of Simms), John Gierach, and even basketball coach Bobby Knight. It was nice to also to catch-up in person with my friend, Derek DeYoung, who is an artist whose artwork adorns my home. Derek is originally from Michigan, but now lives in Livingston, Montana. He is very familiar with the outstanding fisheries we have here in Northern Michigan.