By Montana Grant

Posted: September 2, 2018

Jawbreaker Joe has been fishing a long time. His experiences have allowed him to fish around the world. As an Air Force Dentist, he even caught brown trout in Turkey! Who even knew that trout could be found there.

Fishing with Older, experienced fly fishermen is easy. They may take longer to change flies and row the boat but… They know what fly to change, and why, and keep the boat afloat and heading downriver. They have been there and done that. Fishing is just fun, and they are anxious to share and reminisce.

Younger fishermen need to hook with older fishing veterans. You can learn a lot if you just shut up and listen. Too many young fishermen think that fishing is easy and a fast food experience. The only way to learn to catch fish is to catch fish. That takes time and experience and a mature, experienced Mentor.

Fly fishing was way different years ago. Tackle, tying, and gear was more primitive, limited, and simpler than the great stuff we have today. Joe still wears his heavy old patched boots from years ago. Each patched hole represents a moment on the water. New boots and hats on young “Pretty Boy” anglers represent lack of experience and water time. “My boots still keep me dry!”, answered Joe when asked about his chest waders.

He uses a wading staff now to maintain his balance or to bust me over the head if I get too cocky. When I think have heard every story there is, out pops a couple new volumes. His fishing hat displays years of sweat, flies, and stains from miles of rivers. Jawbreaker Joe is still full of it…stories I mean.

Going fishing with an Old Guy is important. Most old guys can’t fish. Many of my friends are too busy, sick, dead, or just gone. Finding new buddies is tough. Bad knees, health, other life distractions keep them beached. Every fisherman needs a Good Joe.

When I was a kid, my Old Guy Mentors were Lefty Kreh, Bob Jacklyn, Bud Lilly, and so many others. I am still a kid, even after a lifetime of fishing. Jawbreaker Joe mentors me now and I mentor many others.

Jawbreaker Joe and Montana Grant fish well together. No competition, plenty of stories, and we are good at adding more. We do not need to help each other but share advice and tips as we find success. We may fish and drift slower, but we still catch more fish than everyone else on the river. Of course, I do catch more and bigger fish than Joe. Just saying!

It is important to find a good fishing buddy.

Montana Grant

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