Q&A: A Look Back on the Last 16 Years with Hackle Client Mr. October

Bitterroot River Fly Fishing, Bitterroot River Brown Trout

The one and only Mr. October is a man from Georgia. He is Chris Harris and he has fished sixteen consecutive years with Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop and Outfitter Drew Miller. When asked how he ended up with Drew he said he called in and talked to our then outfitting manager, Tony Reinhardt, and booked a 4 night and 3 day fishing trip for a thousand bucks! “Those were the days” he says! Even though the price has increased and times have not always been easy, he has this streak going which would make Cal Ripken proud!

I had a little Q&A with Mr. October. Here is what he said:

Q: So Chris, in your 16 years of October fishing in Montana, what is your favorite memory?

A: It has to be the first time I was able to bring my grandfather to Montana and re-introduce him to fly fishing. He taught me to fish as a boy and had dropped out for a while. I brought him back at age 85 and he had so much fun. It was just special and Drew Miller was so good to him.

Q: Why do you think you are so close to Drew Miller? I mean he has you stay at his home!

A: We just had a connection. It is like fishing with my best friend. It has never felt like a typical client/guide relationship. Drew even picked out my lab puppy for me! When I am not able to get a fish to eat in a tough pod of fish, I give Drew the rod. The first time he balked but after I insisted, he took the rod and hooked a fish. It is like me asking my golf caddy to hit the tough shot for me!

Q: Chris, what is your favorite bug to fish?

A: I like streamers! I like to tie them and fish them. Specifically I like the Lady Godiva, a fly Drew ties for me. I fished it for 4 days in a row one trip!

Clark Fork River Fly Fishing Trips, Clark Fork River Rainbow
Q: Ok Chris, Tell me your fly rod of choice!

A: For my streamers, I only fish a 6 wt Winston. I bought the BIIX when they first came out and I love that rod. When I fish dry flies I use my Sage 5wt XP, it is a classic.

Q: I know 16 years is a long streak and I also know one year you were between jobs with a wife and kids to feed. How did you pull that off?

A: Dan, I have the best friends a man could have. I introduced them to fishing with the Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop in Missoula and when they heard I had to cancel my trip, they all got together and did the unimaginable. I go to church with all of them and one of them, Jeff Roach called me and said ” Chris, you are going to Montana!” I was overwhelmed by their love, friendship and generosity.

Writers note: Like most of our fly fishing customers, Chris Harris is a quality gentleman in every sense of the word. We are lucky because we have so many great people like Chris as our customers. That is why this industry rocks! The type of people who support it are the best!! Above and below are pictures of Chris this October, 2015, on the Blackfoot River, the Bitterroot River with a brown trout and Drew Miller holding his pike, and a nice rainbow off the Clark Fork River.

Bitterroot River Pike, Montana Pike Fishing, Missoula Pike


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