We’re back at the home of the Trout Underground’s Anonymous Director of Freeloader Montana Fly Fisherman Housing – unexpectedly so.

The fly fishing on Rock Creek has been excellent; the trout were jumping on our Golden Stone dries non-stop.

Yesterday found me holding my first pure-strain Westslope Cutthroat (pretty thing) in the net. Today it was non-stop brown trout, with a few cutt-bows mixed in to foment suspense.

Adding to the Extreme Fishing Situation (imagine a rock soundtrack playing under this report) was the oddly pleasant high-modulus “crack” generated when a high-end graphite rod simply snapped in half when my big, burly, sinewy, extremely manly arms attempted a hookset into a big, big brown trout.

Us writers are slight, but wiry.

Later, we pulled out [name redacted]’s mini-drifter, but when we arrived at Stony Creek campground, the hissing from under the truck’s hood was audible.

The upper radiator hose had passed from this plane of existence, and if we were going to drift Rock Creek tomorrow (Monday’s the last day you can fish it from a boat), we needed a replacement. Fast.

Fortunately, we had the Subaru shuttle car handy.

Which is where it gets a little weird.

Montana’s not exactly bereft of Ford pickup trucks. In fact, they’re pretty much everywhere, but apparently, nobody feels the need to stock this particular hose.

After three hours of driving, we discovered the only hose in the area was back in Missoula — our starting point Saturday morning.

We made the 2.5 hour drive back, retrieved the Extremely Valuable Radiator Hose, then swung by the [name redacted] homestead for a quick shower (yeah, we needed it), a little beer, and a lot of food.

With two more hours of driving still to come, I sat down and added up the chilling figures; by nightfall, I’ll have spent 26.5 hours in a car seat since Friday morning.

I think I’ve seen as much of the world from behind the windshield as I care to – at least for now.

We’re almost back out the door.

Back… Wednesday? Probably. Should have a few pictures, but Rock Creek’s not exactly a leisurely float; the river is moving fast, there are damned few places to eddy out, and you’re focused on hitting the slack spots on the bank.

All of which leaves little time for photos. But because you are my friends, I’ll endeavor to shoot a few.

See you on the water, Tom Chandler.