Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Next Montana Weekend Novella

It was my husband’s idea. “How about fishing?” he said one night.

(How about fishing is pretty much his answer to everything. “What should we do this weekend, since it’s -30 degrees outside?” I could ask. He’d say, “How about fishing?”)

“She could meet a fishing guide,” he explained. “No, she could be a fishing guide!”

“It’s supposed to be romantic,” I scowled.

I’m in the minority, being a non-fly-fishing woman in Montana. When I’m near a river I hunt with a camera, not a rod. I’m not saying fishing can’t be romantic. But the problem with writing a romance about fishing is this: the real romance is between the fisherman and the fish. All those things that help create togetherness, including thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and glorious serendipity, happen between them.

But something about the idea started worming its way into my mind. “Boats,” he encouraged. “What could be more romantic than hanging out together on a boat?”

Hanging out together on a boat while not fishing, I thought. And they wear waders all day! Please. Then he did his big sales pitch:

“The Bighorn River has world class fishing. World class, right here in Montana. There are nice lodges where they could stay, too.” Hmm. I’m all for Montana lodges. “And HUGE fish.” Okay, whatever. (Feel free to add your pro-fish hate mail to the comments below!)

I started looking into it. There are reasons why this river is amazing. There are reasons why trout love it like no other. And the river never freezes in the winter, did you know that? And the bugs! You have to know which ones, when, and at what stage in their life cycle. It’s interesting. Really!

And there’s an epic, friendship making or breaking debate between Wet and Dry Fly fishermen.

As with so many things, the more I researched the more I loved what I was studying. I found a Montana custom boat maker with the most beautiful boats I have ever seen. I learned the history of the MacKenzie, how to get certified as a Montana outfitter, and how to tie a scud.

That’s right, I’ve been watching fly-tying videos on YouTube. What can I say, I like shiny things. In fact, maybe I’ll actually try out the fly-tying kit my husband gave me a few years back.

Wait a minute. Do you think he—do you think it was all a ruse to get me to—naw. Couldn’t be.

The next Montana Weekend Novella will be published in March. If you’d like to know when Cynthia Bruner's books are available, sign up for the newsletter on the Montana Romance blog or at the Montana Inspired Arts ( website.

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