Obama makes good on Montana fly-fishing promise
BELGRADE, Mont. — President Barack Obama didn't let thunderstorms and unseasonably cool weather stop him from learning how to fish for Montana's famous trout during his weekend trip to the rustic West and its national parks.
"He insisted that fishermen fish in the rain, so he said, `Let's do it,'" fishing guide Dan Vermillion said. "The weather was really horrendous. We were all real cold at the end of the day."
The president took 2 1/2 hours after his health care town hall near Bozeman on Friday to make good on a campaign promise to learn fly fishing when he revisits the state. His guide said the commander in chief has become a serious student of the sport.
"I found him to be a real good listener. He really wanted to learn about the whole experience of fly fishing," said Vermillion, who runs the Sweetwater Fly Shop in Livingston.
Obama reported practicing the difficult-to-master mechanics of fly casting on retreats at Camp David, Vermillion said.
It paid off. The president did well for a first-timer by hooking half a dozen fish in an area mixed with brown and rainbow trout, but he didn't land any during the afternoon getaway on the East Gallatin River, his guide said.