Summer in Craiglandia

Keenan Morrison

Headhunters Fly Shop

26, August 2023

Summer In Craiglandia

In the beginning, starting work @ Headhunters Fly Shop I was pretty nervous. I knew I was going to be surrounded by people who have a much greater knowledge of fly fishing than I did. My main goal for the summer was to learn more about fly fishing this summer than I collectively have my entire life. And I have done just that! That knowledge comes over time. I had to be willing to absorb, listen, and observe. Now I have the knowledge to confidently answer many of the questions that come my way. This is special to me because I put myself in a position where at the start, I did not have a lot of confidence. With the help of everyone working at the shop that is no longer the case.

Another huge benefit that I gained from spending the year in Craig was the time I got to spend on the water this long Missouri River season. Someone told me that the best practice is time on the water. The complete immersion in the scene coupled with time on the water is great and I always find myself learning something new or trying a different technique out which has been  however having someone who can critique your techniques and show you different rig set ups accelerates the learning process tenfold. I got to take my family and friends out on the water and even had some ten plus fish days with people who had not held a fly rod before. All the knowledge gained this summer has come with a crippling addiction, slowly but surely fishing has begun to consume my thoughts, the videos I watch on YouTube, the podcasts I listen to, and all of my free time.

Summer in Craiglandia

Learning the Missouri river has been a very fun and at the same time frustrating process. I spent many days at the beginning of summer getting skunked, untangling knots in the line and cursing the fish. Looking back on this I laugh now because understand I was fishing the river wrong, the wrong depths, and the wrong spots. Before this job I spent most of my time on freestones which are much easier to fish, the presentation doesn’t need to be very good, and most of the old school patterns are all that you need to catch a lot of fish. Due to this I had a lot of bad habits that I needed to change, that took more than a few nights of losing a fish.

Last fall I was out fishing and I made the decision to withdraw from college and start chasing water all year round. College was a fun experience, but ultimately for me, a big money and time waster. I knew I wanted to go back to Park City because from the first day there I never wanted winter to end, I got the exact same feeling about summer here in Craig. Winter is slowly but surely on its way but I am already thinking about next summer. Cheers to many more days of rippin’ lips.

Summer in Craiglandia

Ed Note: Thanks Keenan. We thank you for working with us this season! Many of us have made bad life decisions like taking time away from college as well. Not too smart. You may end up enjoying the outdoors your entire life enjoying what you do daily. Not all humans are comfortable making this decision. Not all humans are happy every day either. Looking in the mirror, both John and I followed the same path. Ski and fish. Could not have been happier. While we may not encourage we do support your decision! 

Need a fly shop job next summer, or March thu October? We are always looking for all-stars here in Craiglandia. Start thinking about your plans for the coming year, 2024. Be like Keenan and work at Headhunters of Craig following your fly fishing dreams.


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  • if you don’t want to be living in a trailer behind town pump in 10 years you should finish college. the fish will be there in a few years. the ability to afford a real place in montana without skills that go beyond catching difficult fish will not

  • I disagree. Life is short. Do what makes you happy.

    • Hmm, the age old question. Will college help all, every, without exception individuals achieve financial and/or personal success. For some, the right choice, for others, not so much. The beauty of college is that you can always go. Spoken from a 13 year full time ski instructor, fishing guide, outfitter, shop owner that has been 3 times. No degree. Lots of correct paths for humans out there. Trick is to see the goal early enough to begin the foundation of success. And mtcreels…the real question is, “Will trout be there in a few years?” The admissions desk will always be there. Always. Looks like trout streams in this state are on the way out…

  • wayne e clayton
    September 9, 2023 6:27 am

    I have been guiding for over 40 years.I have a degree I have never used.Find your path and stick to it

  • Hello Keenan, we have never met, but I understand your crossroads. Listen to both sides, and make your own decisions. All points made are valid. Much to the chagrin to my folks, I did it my way. Lots of ups and downs, but that’s life. I’ve been lucky, happy and healthy. Made it through a tough profession for sixty years. Would I change anything? No. So much of life is what we make of it. I wish you the best of luck in any direction you choose.

  • Be passionate about what you do and you have a hell of a chance really enjoying life!

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