big hole river brown trout
Out There The Road

First Month of #Vanlife

Holy crap that went fast. It feels like a week or two at most but a full month has passed since I jumped into the van full-time. And it’s been a crazy busy month on the work front and the fishing front. The best thing about working remote and from a van has been the ability to park right on the water. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that first month looked like, in photo essay form of sorts. If things keep at this pace through Central and South America, I imagine roundup type posts will be the norm.

Float the Big Hole

big hole river fishing float
Caleb and I used to road trip and fish all over the state. It was fun returning to the Big Hole to fish together.

Small Creeks in the Bitterroot

small stream fly fishing
I could take my glass rod to a small stream everyday for the rest of my life.

Pike and Trout on the Bitterroot for NBS Outdoor Magazine

Montana pike fishing
I think this article will publish sometime this fall in NBS Outdoor. It’s a midwestern publication. We crushed trout and pike all day.
pike fishing flies
Pretty little guy.

5 Days on the Beaverhead with another Big Hole Day

arb awning and room
The ARB Awning and room attachment makes a great long term camp. Super comfortable.
fly fishing for brown trout at night
Not the monster I was hoping for but she still felt good crushing the streamer.
beaverhead river brown trout
This fish was in crystal clear backwater and was crazy selective…until I tried a worm.

4 days in Bozeman with the TRCP + Lower Madison Float

TRCP media summit
CWD is spreading like crazy. The conference was very productive from a media perspective and I learned a ton.
lower madison river fly fishing
This is Rachel from the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation. She is a complete bad ass and is fighting for our rights to access and enjoy the outdoors.

Grouse and Grayling in the Pintlars

montana grayling fishing
Backcountry Montana grayling. We only ran into 15 other people on the trail. Labor day pains.
montana grouse hunting
Should’ve named her Gunner.

Georgetown Lake and other Stillwaters

georgetown lake brook trout
Been a while since I’ve nabbed a brookie.
georgetown lake fly fishing
Beautiful day at Georgetown and the fishing was stellar.
montana rainbow trout
Found this rainbow in a ditch somewhere. It was very large.

Clark Fork River Hoppers

upper clark fork fly fishing
Ran into some great hopper fishing on the Clark Fork.
Big Sky and all that.

I spent way more time fishing than expected which is awesome. I crushed a good chunk of work while sitting in the woods. Turns out, doing research while I’m on a good connection and writing while I’m out of service works out really well. No distractions and my workflow is more efficient. And outside of a random burning smell and short burst of smoke that I couldn’t diagnose, there haven’t been any breakdowns. It wasn’t coming from the engine at least.

Van Changes

I did reconfigure the bed by removing the accordion couch conversion and just going to a solid platform. When it gets really cold, that will leave more space for Shale dog to stretch out (she currently relaxes under the boat trailer) and it requires less time and effort to switch between the couch and bed. I can still sit and work so it seems like a good move.

I’m also moving bulk water storage to the under-bed storage and will use those to simply refill my 4 plastic gallon jugs. I haven’t used the faucet or sink once and now I can convert that into more dry food storage and possible fit a new deep cycle battery that will run the Dometic Fridge I’m picking up.

Lastly, new leaf springs and a 2-inch lift are being installed in the next week or two. After that and a tire upgrade, I should be looking good on clearance and off road capabilities.

Moving On

I’m sitting at Poor Henry’s Bar in Clinton right now figuring the next move over a burger. The Rocky Mountain Front sounds nice but I am getting a lift kit installed on the van in the Bitterroot pretty soon. Also have family coming this way at the end of September, likely to Philipsburg. Archery season has been all but a bust. The fish keep puling me in and I like being out with the dog. And yes, I did wear the same shirt for about 10 straight days. But that’s not a van thing, I just hate doing laundry.