Mouthin' Off - Spring 2015

Letters from O/B readers. 

Hooked on Bozeman
I loved the fly-fishing article “Surrender” (Summer 2014, p. 48). Last spring, I uprooted my life on the East Coast and moved to Bozeman. I went fly fishing for the first time on the beautiful Madison River. I’m DEFINITELY an amateur and I hooked more bushes behind me than successfully landed any flies on the water. I didn’t really know what I was doing but had enough basics to try. I knew it was going to be “all about the fishing and not about the fish” and truly it was. I can relate the idea of surrendering you mention to my moving out West and having to let go and leave behind all things comfortable and familiar. The unknowns, the total inexperience, and the vulnerability on the river that comes with being a new fly fisherman (woman), are all challenges I’ve faced while trying to establish a new life in Bozeman. However, I keep finding beauty in that surrender. As daunting as starting over can be, the new people, places, and activities are worth it. I have no regrets taking the giant move-across-the-country leap of faith. There will never be wasted time, even if I never catch any fish out here. —Jess Tuttle

From: Transplant Wannabe
To: Native-Montanan Illuminati
Subject: Rebuttal

You are not indigenous, so put a cork in your let ‘em eat cakehole. A yearling cow moose waits patiently for me to plant pansies and petunias on the building lot I bought this summer. The moose is indigenous.

Yes, Bozeman is growing. We salute the city fathers on their rein-tightening efforts to maintain order in the valley. But here’s the rub, Bobcat boys and girls: you need “transplants” to come and play and buy and build and pay taxes so you can expand infrastructure to educate the children. We want them to process our “fountain of youth” prescriptions proficiently.

Try taking a bifocal-enhanced look to the future, 30-somethings. You are going to become 40-somethings and 50-somethings. Sure as Bob’s yer uncle (and who IS Bob, anyway?), you will be hiking (shout-out to the BWAGs) and biking and skiing into your golden years. Anti-inflamatories are your friends.

We want to retire to the Bozone to maintain an active lifestyle. Upon review of our latest labwork results (here comes the organ recital), our physician gave up on his usual lecture for old folks and cautiously admitted that maybe we should stay with the Montana Diet: red meat and strong whiskey, paired with regular vigorous exercise. Outside. Essentially, eat well, play hard, and live strong. Oh, and laugh out loud. Case in point: we have enjoyed several summers in Gallatin County. We have made our share of tourist (touron) faux pas. One day on the Yellowstone we were clad in everything REI, LL Bean, Simms, Cabela, ExOfficio, and Orvis had to offer for our guided adventure. Brand nametags waved like flags in the breeze. I have no idea how that guide kept from laughing out loud. The wily trout was laughing. Everybody knows a fish can’t bite if he’s laughing. Live and learn.

In closing, you “native Montanans” must concentrate to attract the best young professionals in their fields to come and play in your fields. We OPALs (Old People Active Lifestyle) have plenty to offer, too.

Favorite “whine?” We want to live in the Bozone. Where do we sign?

--Laurie & John Weisner