Many years and many miles ago.

Proud moment

This is one that’s been in the works for almost 18 years. It doesn’t have anything to do with fishing but it does have something to do with Wolf Creek Angler and those of you who’ve been customers of the shop for any length of time will likely recognize the subject of today’s blog.

Last Saturday we attended my son’s graduation from Helena High School and while I will resist the temptation of making too big of a deal out of this, I do feel like it’s at least worth a mention.

It’s one more opportunity for reflection. Yet another reminder of our imminent mortality. I graduated from high school over 30 years ago yet I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the mix of excitement and joy and hope and fear and sadness. My adult life awaiting me and no clue what the future would hold.

Sitting in the stands these 30 odd years later watching my son walk across the stage in his cap and gown I felt the same flood of emotions about what the future will hold for him but this time mixed in with those emotions was a reflection back at how life has turned out for me as well as the ever-present reminder of how there is likely more life in the rearview than ahead.

I’ve been blessed with an amazing wife and a better son than I deserve. Not to mention a dream job and the opportunity to live in a place that stirs my soul daily. We’ve worked hard to get here, putting everything on the line to make this thing work. So far so good thanks to each and every one of you who shops with us, fishes with us, stays with us or simply follows us on social media.

Sitting on a hot metal folding chair under the Michigan sun at my high school graduation all those years ago I could never have predicted any of this but I believe it’s all happened exactly according to plan and I couldn’t be more grateful.

People often ask me if my kid is interested in the shop, or fishing or guiding or any of it and the answer is that at this point he really has no interest in these things and I’m ok with that. When I was 18 years old I had zero interest in going to work in the family business. Mind you, our family business was not Montana fly fishing, it was a Midwest Iron Foundry (not quite the same curb appeal), but the point is that I wanted to do something on my own and my parents encouraged me to do so all along the way.

In addition to owning and running the foundry my dad was a Lake Michigan charter boat captain in his spare time. I worked for him for several years as first mate and you know what? I wanted NOTHING to do with charter boat fishing which actually to this day holds very little appeal. So that’s how that goes.

My son plans on attending the journalism school at the University of Montana. His dad got a journalism degree in the early 90’s before ending up working in the family business and ultimately landing in Montana…immersed in a dream.

I’m not sure what path my son will take. Who knows, he may end up behind the counter of the shop one day or in the rower’s seat of a drift boat though that doesn’t seem likely. Whatever the future holds and wherever his journey leads him, we couldn’t be more proud of him, not just for completing the task of high school but more importantly, for the way in which he carries himself. We’ve been blessed immeasurably on this life journey in so many ways and this kid tops that list.

Congratulations John. We’re so proud of who you have become and we can’t wait to see what’s next.