Recently, a client from this past fall sent me a gallery of photos from fishing on the Missouri in October. I had forgotten about the photo above and laughed out loud upon seeing it. The Gas Tank. This is a real flask which holds just shy of a handle, yep a handle of whisky….Jack, Crown or Jim B. These days I prefer Jack, but mid summer after the pennies have fallen from the sky we drink Crown….about the time rifle season hits and the snow really begins to fly we make the switch back over……do the math.
So the Gas Tank belongs to Fella. An X-baseballer who moved to MT in 1988 to fish after life changed dramatically…..which, as it turns out , is how most of us landed in big sky country. Fella is a lifer and guides 150 days each year, spending the off season chasing stealhead….and women…and the eternal buzz. I met this character 10 years ago at the Totem Bar in West Yellowstone….it was 10 am and we were headed to Hebgen to fish gulpers….it was a bloody mary morning.
The Gas Tank was a gift to Fella from Art and Son of Art (SOA). Each Fall, this father and son show up to fish with Fella in YNP on the Madison for Spawners. There is minimal driving, no rowing and a whole lot of netting. Art and SOA enjoy the spirits and as it turns out, so does Fella. When they arrive (actually SOA somehow convinced Art to let him go to school at MSU in Bozeman) Art and SOA hit the liquor store and fill their flasks. A small, pocket sized flask in which one will nip on periodically throughout the day in order to keep warm. Over the years, Art and SOA became perplexed on how quickly their flask was emptied. Little did they know that Fella was the culprit. SOA, I would guess, figured it out. So this past October they showed up with a gift for Fella – The Gas Tank.