Wolf Creek Classic #TBT

Wolf Creek Classic #TBT

Squeeky lived in downtown Wolf Creek in the late 90’s. Many trout bums have lived in Wolf Creek Montana.

A great little community with many amenities that any trout inclined slacker would enjoy.

The Canyon Store is a big draw! Gas pumps, roller dogs, candy, and of course the most important beyond gasoline is beer.

And they have a wide variety too. From all of the cheap domestics to the hottest of local brews for you the angler to enjoy.

Also gee-gaws and such for the traveling angler. Gotta bring something home for the Missus. And sometimes it cannot be some sort of new overpriced nippers from the fly shop.

I lived in an old large brick house behind the Wolf Creek Store for 3 seasons. Loved living there. Within walking distance from the store! Never went thirsty!

But the Wolf Creek property is under change. Bill and June Kersey owned it when I was a resident. Way back in the day Frenchy’s was a Wolf Creek resort. Offering a restaurant and lodging for the weary travelers or an Oasis in the Montana sun for those wishing to recreate in the local area including hunting opportunities along with the fishing from the river or the lake.

Bill and June had the place for a several decades. Long time outfitter and Mo River Guide Chuck Tuchschmidt of Eagle Creek Outfitters had summered there a few years when I caught up with Chuck at Bridger Bowl outside of Bozo. Was teaching skiing there int he late 90’s and lunched in front of Chuck at Jimmy B’s the burger Joint and Bar at Bridger Bowl. He asked what I was doing for the summer, seeing my ski school jacket, and I mentioned I was headed up to the Mo for the summer chef’ing at the Trout Shop. And he asked if I needed a place to live. He said to stop in and take a look at the joint.

3br, 1 bath, made of large format brick, under a shade tree or two, my rent share of 175/mo., located behind the gas station/beer store, in sleepy and mostly quiet Wolf Creek.

So I said yes.

Lived there for 3 summers. Loved it. Then Chuck bought a trailer up on the Street of Dreams outside of the Dearborn. And that was the end fo my Wolf Creek residence.

The property had lots of single BR cabins with a couple that may have had 2 BR’s. A small and often loud clanging gas furnace and maybe some insects, spiders, mice, and possum wandering in and out of your place.

The old Brick House once stood here in the center of the picture.

The large house behind the store was on the property where Chuck and I lived. A lodge with an old lunchroom inside is where Chuck and I and the Kersey’s would chain saleCamels and chat.

A legendary property in WC. All changing.

Kept a PO Box there for 25 years. Finally changed it to Cascade recently when my wife and I built a house 4 years ago.

But it all started, save for the years in my tent vagabonding around acting as a trout bum from ’92 through ’97, in Wolf Creek.

SOL started guiding while living at this house. Lot, and lots, and lots of commercial flies were tied inside the insulating brick walls!

The Wolf Creek house had great memories and growth. A few drunken nights as well. Fond memories for sure.

Classic Frenchy’s Sign

Now the property will become a RV Park. Not quite as glamorous as the cabins, lodge, and legend of Frenchy’s we remember.

So long Frenchy’s Motel and Cabins. We will all miss you.

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  • Hey Squeeky, thanks for the tour down memory lane. A lot of us older guys remember Craig when the Trout Shop was an old house, with a Fly Shop in the living room. There was a guy working there then that liked talking about fishing Craig to Craig. He would walk over the old steel bridge and fish downstream of it. Times have changed. Now we have Glamping!

    Well there are more than a few of us who make our pilgrimage back to Wolf Creek, Craig and Cascade every March or April for a trip to kick off the fly fishing season. Hopefully we can continue our streak of over many years and miles of floating and fishing this wonderful river. I usually get a new drift boat every 10 years. I am on my fourth one now. Hopefully, I can get a fifth!

    • Great story Steve. The Mo is a truly magical river! That cat that you mentioned was, I think, LT. Mentioned above in Cliff NAgatani’s comments. The original Logistics Man in Craig. His legend still lives on in the minds and hearts of many. LT is one of the best!

  • John Cleverdon
    March 19, 2021 6:41 am

    Our crew (3 of us)…stayed 4-5 nights at one of the 2 bedroom cabins back in September 92. Price per night went down for the second night and beyond because no clean towels. After a couple of nights we offered to pay to get clean towels. No deal, no mattered how much we pleaded. So we checked out, paid the bill and checked back in and bingo clean towels. Never forgot that trip…went from 80 to 46 and snow we had some of the best blue wing fishing ever. We have coming back ever since.

    Back in 90s the spent caddis fall in the upper River was truly epic….feeding fish everywhere. Our go to fly then was the carpet fly…Antron carpet yarn from some place in Great Falls….got the pattern and the yarn from a kid who worked at MRO…..that was back when Greg Falls was holding the fort down at MRO.

    We all have had the shots and are looking forward to good trip in July.

    • Thanks John. Yeah you are an addicted Mo River angler as well. The spent caddis fall in the 90’s was epic. Never fished a Trico in that era. Just caddis in the summer. Spents. That Elam Spent Caddis was king in my world. And, as my biz partner Scumliner mentioned…why do you need another towel, aren’t you clean when you get out of the shower?

  • Wow Mark! Such memories are great! In July 1990 I stayed at Frenchies for 4 nites, toilet wasnt even bolted down. I laff everytime i pass it. Terimelli at the shop was hilarious, goodtimes.

  • Yes tricos galore! Low water year, big pods

  • John Cleverdon
    March 20, 2021 4:28 pm

    The tricos were so thick the looked like white tornadoes.
    Our go to was the trico clump….it is the midge cluster tied with white poly.

  • John Cleverdon
    March 20, 2021 4:30 pm

    The tricos were so thick the looked like white tornadoes.
    Our go to was the trico clump….it is the midge cluster tied with white poly.

  • Great memories. Ahh…the good old days! My first trip to Montana, I called Dan Bailey’s for some advice and he asked where I was coming from. I told him Alberta and he said I probably wouldn’t get much further than the Mo….he was right.

    Float tubes putting in at the bridge. Neoprenes and Red Balls. Beaded flies were just coming in…but seriously, who nymphs the Mo?? In that old house, there was a guy, in a lazy boy, tying flies for his ‘shop’, one row of tippet and maybe a couple pair of nippers on the wall. Izaak’s use to be a general store, where I’d get my $27 licence for the week. Used to close down Joe’s then he would roll a bbq and a box of drinks into the parking lot and we’d tell fishing tales til the sun was coming up. The Indiana crew would be there with moonshine and guitars and song sheets in hand to have a sing song at Joe’s….and that when dogs were allowed in the bar. Doug Swisher’s Water Otter started making appearances on the river. Gary Borger’s ‘White winged Black’ double trico for the trico hatch…but yes, Mark, caddis was king!!

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