Missoula MT....there and back in 48hours...plus or minus

Opportunities to be on TV don’t come along to often for your average high school teacher/fly fishing guy. Justin Karnopp Idylewilde tier and producer at Barrett productions emailed me a month ago and asked if I wanted to come out to Missoula MT to film some fly tying for some episodes of fly fisherman TV. I said uhh…uhh…why not. I was thinking hell MT in June, July…film some, fish some…hang out…cool.

First surprise…return email from Justin: How about Feb 5…..to myself “well I don’t ski or like the cold very much”…. TV…if I don’t go…I should go….reply: sure lets do it.

Feb. 5 5pm the 1999 Ford Escort is rocking to the black Album by Jay Z on the way to Sac. Once the escort hits Yuba City and I rear end some crack head who slams on her brakes in front of me on hwy 99, drives off really fast, I look and see the escort is fine, I pop in a little Death Cab to mellow it and me out.

Bags are packed with my fly tying shit and some clean under wear plus a list of stuff to “pick up” at Ikea in West Sac for steph…I hate Ikea…really hate Ikea.

Pull into the Swedish hell at 7pm…one hour before closing time…Grab a cart then look at the list and decide for a flat bed push cart and think this shit is not gonna fit in the escort. I have come to the conclusion that IKea is like Dante’s Inferno…levels of hell and complete chaos….I would hate to see Sweden’s DMV…After piling massive amount of various particle board unassembled furniture on to my flat push cart with a fucked up wheel, that I just know I will most likely have to assemble when I get home on Sunday, I hit the check out…One register open…but you are more than welcome to the self check out….because the Swedes aren’t making enough on this particle board crap to employ a few checkers at minimum wage I have to check myself out…COME ON!!!!

Now the interesting part. Fitting a desk, bookshelf, pillow, two 60some inch shelves, plus a spice rack into a 1999 Ford Escort. By the end I was sweating, hoping the Swedes would harbor terrorist so we could invade, that the US Olympic team kills the Swedes… you name it I was pissed….in the end I should have been awarded an engineering degree for my work….

Find the closest Holiday Inn express next to the airport since my flight leaves at 6am the next morning. Buy a six-pack of beer at Safeway, a $5 dollar Volcano box of taco bell (various tortilla, meet, nacho cheese, and spicy sauce concoctions) and settle in.

I was surprised to find that I was booked the handicap room…nice…. So I ate taco bell in bed in my boxers and drank like 4 beers. Rolled over and went to sleep. Woke up with the worst heartburn known to man…What ever.

Got to the airport in plenty of time. Walked up to the counter to check my fly ting stuff, as I can’t imagine that I would be able to take on scissors and razor blades on the plane. To my surprise I had to pay $25 to check my bag…Fuck that…Bend over took it like a man….

Side Note: Rackets I wished I would of thought of: the company that got the bottled water contract behind the security check point at airports…$5 a bottle and no other options. Some one is a millionaire.

Passed out as soon as I hit the seat from Sac to Salt Lake…Woke up to the wheels hitting the ground….found my way to the Delta Connections terminal at SLC airport…All I see is planes with propellers…Sweat where are the guys with goggles and scarves…Watched some movies on my I Pod and waited for my plane to board…This plane was ridiculous it made a sardine can look roomy… my luck I sat next to the 80 some year old man from New Orleans that wanted to share his life story with me and who was going to visit his daughter who was dying of cancer…nothing like a little light flight conversation…I opted for the tomato juice with Vodka for the in-flight service….and yes I would like another when you come back down the isle….best $14 I ever spent

Justin Karnopp picked me up at the airport in Missoula, MT…Feb in MT is cold as fuck… bottom line…call me a pussy…MT should close for the winter. … Made our way to a cabin up in the woods somewhere to watch a professor from the local univ. tie some copper johns… I will just get this out of the way now…she was hot…and like 50 some years old….I didn’t want to be the one to drop the “dude she was hot” in the car on the way out in case she was like some bodies mom or something …. Camera grew said they could knock her out of metapause…awkwardness lifted…then the discussion was on….

On the drive back to Barrett Productions office I got to see some of the town…Cool town. Lots of little shitty casinos. Apparently gambling is legal in MT and it never really took off like Vegas or Reno…. Wonder why?

Filming fly tying is filming fly-tying…for the camera crew it is like filming paint drying or grass growing….didn’t take long to start drinking….5 hours of filming fly tying….hammered it out then off to dinner.

Junstin and his wife Lauren (I think… I am terrible with names) took me to a great little Irish restaurant down town…yes an Irish Restaurant in Missoula, MT. As far as I know this was not a big area of Irish settlement but I didn’t ask questions just ordered a beer and the fish and chips…AWESOME grub. Great Halibut fish and chips. Talked marriage, kids, fishing, the industry, hunting dogs…with all seriousness Justin and his wife are great people and were great hosts…..then hit Charlie B’s Bar…Great MT bar with cheap beer. Had the token drunk Indian at a table as soon as we walked in and a bar lined with bearded, suspender wearing, bulbous nose drunk 70 year olds that were probably like 50. Crazy toothless lady mumbling and running into people while drinking and wondering around. The cook in the back – shaved head, huge pork chop side burns with a Pabts trucker hat on that was not a reissue more like original issue – cooking burgers and sloppy joes. Legit.

Cool little crew of Justins buddies. Had some beers while Justin’s wife made fun of a short guy while a short guy (like sub 5’) was standing right next to her. Awesomely awkward even for me.

Justin Dropped me off at the Double Tree…showered ate two complementary cookies and said good night to Missoula MT.

Woke up to my cell phone alarm that I set as a back up to the wake up call that I was suppose to get but never came…story of my life.

Met the airport shuttle and their was a flight crew on it with me talking about how hung over they were and how little sleep they got…and yes it was a little awkward when I asked what flight they were on and it was mine…I was convinced I was not in the best hands on my flight from Missoula to Salt Lake.

Get on the plane and they have to pause on the runway to hose off ice…nice…I am gonna die….said a hale marry, ordered a bloody marry and passed out.

The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful…lots of sleeping… a few stints of watching the Wilco documentary “I am trying to break your heart” about the making of Yankee Fox Trot Hotel…Great movie and great Record.

Got into Sacramento at Noon … not to hung over….got home in enough time to watch the super bowl and fall asleep next to my wife and son about 9pm.

Hogan Brown