Last weekend, we got the chance to sit down with a good friend and incredible fly fisherman, Drew Baker. He’s from our home base, Phiipsburg, MT, and is beginning to make splashes across the Montana fly fishing scene!
A brief bio: After growing up in Philipsburg, Drew worked briefly in North Dakota but decided to move back to western Montana not too long ago. He was recently on the cover of Montana Hunting and Fishing News, a magazine for which he also writes and photographs. This summer, he will be a fly fishing guide at the Ranch at Rock Creek.
We reached out to Drew as soon as we launched Fish Montanably because we know that his enthusiasm for living and fishing Montanably matches ours. His favorite part about living in Montana is accessibility to the outdoors, but fishing is “by far” his favorite part of it all.
Even though he’d always done some sort of fishing as a kid, he didn’t start fly fishing until his friend Noel turned him on to it in college. Soon after, he bought a rod one day and started hitting the water. “It’s humbling,” he says. “You put more into it, but it’s much more rewarding...uncomparable to other types of fishing.” Four years into fly fishing, and he’s hooked.
What keeps him going? “You keep learning every time you go out. With fly fishing, you could live 3 lifetimes and not know everything!” He says that while it can be frustrating sometimes, the great days make it all worth it. His best fishing story comes from a day on the Kootenai River: After a 30 minute fight on a 6-weight fly rod, a drift boat in rushing rapids, and 4 onlooking spin fishermen, he caught a 30 inch trout that weighed in between 15-20 pounds!
We asked what the phrase “Fish Montanably” means to him, and we couldn’t have expressed it better ourselves. “To fish ethically and respect the fish,” he said. “I’m all about catch and release. You have to fish with conservation on your mind. Fisheries won’t be there long unless we take care of them.”
Although he is relatively new to the fly fishing world, Drew has lots going on! After doing some photography for Montana Hunting and Fishing News, he started writing for them too. He has pro deals with Fray n’ Release, HR Outdoors, and Western Outdoorsmen.
He’s sure to be out on the river, hitting many waters, posting photos, and fishing Montanably all summer long! Find Drew on Instagram at @montanatroutbum and keep an eye out for him in the Montana Hunting and Fishing News magazine!