To quote Augustus Mcrae in Lonesome Dove - "Life is short son. Shorter for some than others, now let's the rest of us go on to Montana."

Typically, my blog and writings revolve around the adventures, mishaps, and general lifestyle of an outfitter, father and sportsman. I enjoy penning them as much as you do reading them. Maybe a little more, as each time I sit at the keyboard different memories trigger thought trains that eventually make it to the final copy. Most, if not all of those memories are good ones, and this certainly is no different. However, in this case I am not sure which category this excerpt falls under.

Over the years, many of you have seen photos of this man amongst my website, or possibly even broke bread with him at my table after a day on the water. He and I have shared countless memories afield and others yet in some more urban settings. Of note, I remember his first real challenging fish on the fly. In his words "You just helped me defy gravity". We landed that fish - a perfect specimen of a Montana Brown Trout. Also worthy of mention was his first steelhead on the fly, not landed - which inspired the comment "Are you even supposed to hook a fish like that on a fly rod?" The best however was his complete lack of words when he rattled in his first Whitetail buck. Sheer enjoyment. So wrapped up in the process, he opted out of taking the shot - and it was a pretty nice buck by the way.

Over the years he evolved into a great angler and sportsman. The type that enjoys the pursuit more than the result. The process more than the conclusion. His demeanor afield was very similar to his aggressive business personality. In short, he was ALWAYS the last to quit and first to buy the beer. Something we all should be better at.

As of May 25th, 2010 the trout in Montana will swim easier, the big game will breath a sigh of relief, and the waterfowl will fly a bit more carelessly. It's not without tears that I make this entry, as Shaun now knows what "happens when this ride is over". And let me tell you, he had a good ride while it lasted. He enjoyed the process, in every sense of the word. Thank you Shaun, for the introductions to so many friends - Charles, Andrew, Gator, Ring, Stubbers, Dolan, and of course your family. We will all share many stories in your honor down the road.

There is more reading for those interested on his company website , as well as a fundraiser for Shauns family. Many thanks to those that are contributing.

Our Location

Stonefly Inn & Outfitters, Dan "Rooster" Leavens

409 N Main Street,

PO Box 428,

Twin Bridges, MT 59754

Phone. 406-684-5648