Roger with boar Steelhead.
Photo credits to Ken Hyde of Boise Idaho.
Many people may consider the term “Legend” a strong word, however anyone who ever had the privilege of fishing with Roger Monger would agree, Roger was a Legend!
It was in 1991 when I took my 70 year old mother Steelhead fishing on the Clearwater River. On average unguided bank anglers will spend more than ten hours for each Steelhead caught. The only hope we had to increase our odds of catching fish was to hire a good fishing guide. We scheduled two days with Roger Monger. The 21st of October was my mom’s 70th birthday so of course we scheduled ‘her day’ as the first of two days with Roger. Being a Texas girl mom wasn’t sure about the ‘catch and release’ aspect of not keeping wild steelhead. “In Texas you keep and eat what you catch.” she reminded me.
We put in at The Pink House and took out at Peck. Ice covered the shoreline rocks and getting my mom into the boat took extra care. Back then we celebrated every fish caught with a quick pull off a bottle of Irish Mist. We brought 10 fish to the boat that first day with my mom hooking-up 8 of them. She needed more help getting out of the boat than she did getting in. A glorious birthday was provided by Roger’s expert talents as a fishing guide. The next day we floated from Lenore to Cherry Lane, hooked 8 and brought 6 fish to the boat. Mom was hooked on Steelhead fishing and went every year till she passed in 1997. She once told me, “Some people catch fish and some fish catch people, the Steelhead is the latter.” Those days on the river with Roger Monger and my mom are some of my fondest memories.
I met Roger in 1984 on my first trip to the Clearwater and always scheduled time in the boat with him. Over the years he taught me how to row a drift boat, read the river and where the fish lie. The value of a good guide cannot be over estimated. A well seasoned guide can put the fisherman into fish even in years with low return numbers. The numbers of returning fish do not determine the quality of fishing, the guide does. Roger passed in 2011 at the age of 72 but he still lives in every nook and cranny of the Clearwater. Those who knew him were struck by his quiet demeanor and his immense knowledge of the Clearwater and the Steelhead between its banks. He is truly a legend and he is with me every time I’m on the Clearwater.
Book a memory with your parents, family and/or friends with Clearwater River Company, LLC. (clearwaterrivercompany.com or call 1-866-846-4240). Share the time and experiences with loved ones. You won’t regret the time on the water with our great guides and hooking into these uniquely powerful fish.