Angler's West Blog

July 15, 2011
How Many Guides to Change a Flat?

Oh brother!  What a cluster! 

It all started when a couple of guides, Lee Kinsey, my son and I were out checking on a new piece of water that we have for the year as well as dropping in on another section to see how it's looking.  With all the high water we've had this year, timing has been a little off and things are taking a bit longer than one would expect to come into shape.  So off we went on the adventure.

The new place is going to be great.  It's a small stream that comes out from the mountains somewheres around these parts and feeds into a larger river of relative Montana fame.  Again, it's well, you know, around here somewheres.  I can't really say... But it's good.  Lots of nice chunky cuttys and brookies and they're willing to eat a fly.  My son Sam had a ball.  I think come a bit later in the summer there's going to be some bruisers in there.  And they'll eat the hopper, I'm sure of it.

So after leaving location X, it's not that far out of the way to drop over to another of our favorite leases.  Besides, only one or two of us in the rig had been there yet this year so it was a good idea to wander over and check things out.  I kept telling Sam about the big Brown living in a place we call "Goal Post" and thinking it would be fun for him to give it a try even if we were pushing the limits on getting home when Mama said we were to...

The road into this place has been notorious for years amongst us guides as a real SOB.  It's not like you need 4-wheel drive or anything.  Least not if it hasn't been raining or winter and we just don't go there in the winter.  Rain? Yeah, that happens.  When it does, we round up the troops and skeddadle- lest we have to stay there at the ranch overnight.  (I've threatened to pull that card out from time to time...) But the rocks on this road can be real tire eaters. The ranch roads were completly dry and only some slightly ominous looking clouds to the South.. We'll be in and out we kept saying to one another.  Besides, what's going to go wrong? 

Bing, bing, bing goes the warning.  Up on the dash it says Check Tire Pressure.  Bleep!  I look out the window and can see that the left front tire is slowly losing it's normal full shape.  A mile to go downhill to the gate... We make it there and it's completely flat.   Which one of the guides said something about darn near every time they come in, they need to change a tire?  Lee?  Darn you! 

The parade begins.  All 6 of us get out, gear taken out of the suburban and strewn about the place.  Luckily the cooler was full of ice cold freshies... umm Gatorade that is...  Lee and Sam take a rod and walk down the ranch road to see about finding a trout or two while the rest of us attempt to change a tire. 

If it wasn't for the Secondary Latch Mechanism, a so called 'safety' unit on all Chevrolets these days, we could all have been casting a fly to the waiting fish in the creek.  An hour and a half later with much persistence, cussing, arguing, and someone actually reading the manual, we did manage to change that tire...

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