Wabash Blogs Freshman Tutorial: Fly Fishing in Montana

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Lopp Details a Day of Great Fun with Classmates

Mack Lopp '13 - Today the whole fly fishing class went on an expedition with Flying Pig Adventures. The swift, untamed Yellowstone River created a perfect place to go white water rafting along with a family from Illinois.

As we floated down the river, we passed the majestic YellowstoneNational Park, a mountain slope looking identical to a strip of bacon, floated over two sunken train cars full of whiskey, passed through Yankee Jim's Canyon without being held up by him and his friendly shot-gun, and many others unnamed. While on the river we smashed through massive waves, rammed into gigantic boulders, and "road the bull." It was where two people put their cowboy hats on, saddled up, and strapped onto the front of the raft. These two led the group into the rapids challenging everything the raging river could throw at us.
Unfortunately, Jason was the first of many to get bucked off into the river not lasting the eight seconds a TRUE bull rider is required. Water wars were constantly fought throughout the day. Patrick tried to take my raft out quickly by attacking our guide and successfully pulled him into the river leaving us without a captain. Thankfully Aus was there to take the reigns and guide us all to safety.
After weathering the storm, we recovered and struck back by dragging Jeff into the frigid waters. Blood and tears were shed during battle but eventually a treaty was made between the two Wabashrafts to join sides and make a barge out of them. From there, everyone swam doing dives, flips, and unfortunately some nasty flops that added to the pain of sunburn into the icy waters leaving us shivering until the sun eventually warmed us up.
With fly fishing in mind from the experiences earlier in the week; everyone, especially Steven, kept saying, "Ooh, that would be a nice fishing spot, what about that one or maybe this one." He and Professor Hadley would follow that up by wishing for a rod in hand. These memories were fun and all, but the best memory was yet to be experienced.
The whole Wabash class including all the professors and Curtis form Illinoisdecided to jump off of a twenty foot bridge. We all lined up, counted to three, and fell to the Yellowstonecreating an enormous splash. It was amazing and yes, we do have pictures to show for it thanks to Jeff. He decided it was more important for us to have pictures to remember the jump instead of him joining us- Thanks for always looking out for us Jeff!
Later that afternoon, the class loaded into the vans and headed for the ranch to do some old fashioned transportation, horse-back riding. I was driving the one and only Banjo through the rocky hills of Montana. He minded well for the most part, but Stevens’s horse, Brown Jug, was a trouble maker kicking Jim's horse right in the side. We then had an excellent dinner and returned to the hotel to rest up for the long day of traveling that is ahead of us.


The family from Illinois wants to thank these young men. We had a GREAT TIME! I believe our raft had more fun. These young men were very polite, fun and entertaining.

Mack, thanks for grabbing Curtis and jumping with him from the bridge! He is still talking about it! And WE learned SO much about Fly Fishing...from Aus, Steve & the gang!

We wish you the best in your studies!!!

The Hardy Family