Take Her Fishing


Take her fishing because she deserves it.  Take her fishing because you would like to impress her.  Take her fishing to say thank you…or sorry, let her know you enjoy her company.  Whatever you do, just take her fishing a time or two before the summer.

She could be your mom, sister, girlfriend, wife, friend.  Whoever she is she deserves some time in the front of your boat, or next to you on the bank of your favorite stream.  Trade in your stinky drunk dip-spit stained fishing buddies for just one Sunday and TAKE HER FISHING!

Take your mom fishing

So proud of my mom!

I have heeded my own sage advice more than once lately, and the resulting days spent fishing our local waters have been fulfilled.  I took my mom, my beautiful, graceful, dear old mom fishing on the Clark Fork and put my theory to test.

The theory was that she could catch fish with my instruction if we both were focused enough.  In the past I would suggest that we go fishing but she would always dodge the invitation or decide I ought not waste the day rowing her or come up with some excuse.  On that day I looked her in the eyes and said simply, “Mom, I’m serious…we are going fishing.”

And to my thorough surprise and immense delight she accepted, and soon I was waiting in the driveway while she gathered snacks and applied just one more coat of zinc sunblock to her nose.

Not long before we shoved off and she realized there was way too much to do to ask all the burning questions she had, that hey, you need to focus to cast a fly…our first trout was in the net.

Take her fishing

My sis has become quite the avid fisherperson.

I won’t attempt to describe that moment because I’ll sob all over my keyboard or something, but let me tell you it was a milestone.  A rare and complex glimpse at what being a parent must be like, through the eyes of a moment shared with my parent.  Sigh.

Next I took my lovely, tough, talented, beautiful significant other fishing on the Bitterroot River along with my big sis.  My sister has become quite the avid fisherperson (she would so appreciate that political correctness a la the U’s school of social work) over the last few seasons, but my girl and I haven’t gotten to do a whole lot of fly fishing over the last year, so this was uncharted.

Take her fishing2

Mistea with her brown trout.

We decided to fish dry flies, row some great water, and you know…catch them the right way.  You see I learned from them that some people actually don’t care about catching a whole ton of fish, but are concerned with how they catch the fish, and having fun while doing it.  Like I said earlier—TAKE HER FISHING.

My girlfriend caught a great brown trout on a low-riding dry fly just off an irresistible rock point.  I can still see the slow rise, how it startled us, how it was a perfect moment.  I remember the feeling I had netting it.  And my sister, one of my best friends for all the years I’ve had best friends, got a brown trout of her own just off a log.

The fish was right where you would think he would live and while we didn’t catch em’ in all those spots, it’s the ones we got that we all will remember for a long time.  It was a day that I didn’t take for granted, even in the moment, which is rare for me, and I dare say for many of us humans these days.

Driving back from this outing with her you may be filled with love or regret or admiration or something you never knew.  But this I know…you will feel alive, and you will not regret having taken her fishing.


Read more about Fishing the Bitteroot River, the Clark Fork River, Rock Creek, and western Montana Lakes.

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Matt Devlin Fish It Missoula BioMatt Devlin is a fishing guide in Missoula MT.  He enjoys dry flies, “floating with the bros”, attempting to get his labradoodle to chase tennis balls, and writing.