Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Member Profile: Andrew Gorder


Occupation: Legal Director for the Clark Fork Coalition

How long have you been a member of Hellgate Hunters and Anglers? A little over a year

How did your passion for wildlife, wild places, and fair chase hunting and fishing blossom? I grew up in South Dakota, hiking, fishing and exploring the beautiful Black Hills, but I was always drawn to the West. I went to college in Wyoming before landing in Montana in 2008, and I haven’t left since. To me, Montana has always seemed like what the Black Hills must have been like 100 years ago. Montana’s wild places, and the hunting and fishing opportunities they provide, are almost overwhelming in scale – offering a lifetime of adventure. But these places, streams and wildlife deserve more than our admiration, they also require our protection and stewardship. As an organization of volunteers, HHA understands that meaningful conservation takes more than just a passion for wildlife and hunting, it takes long-term thinking and sacrifice, and that’s why I’m proud to be a member.

Favorite/most memorable hunting/fishing story? I don’t know what this says about me, but my favorite stories are always about the least successful outings. Some buddies and I once drove 250 miles one-way and hiked 4.5 miles through grizzly country to access a notably fickle stream that was supposedly holding some trophy trout. Suffice to say our timing was off. We fished until dusk and caught two fish between three of us. Having been fully bamboozled, we hiked out and drove back that night. The absurdity of how hard we worked that day to essentially get skunked made it one of the more hilarious experiences of my life.

Have you ever given away your Honey Hole? I find the best spots are only special if they are shared with friends/family; so yea I’ve definitely taken people to some “secret” fishing spots. That being said, if I actually had a decent elk hunting spot, I’d probably take it to my grave.

One bug Challenge: If you had to use one bug for the whole season what would it be? Size 10 olive woolly bugger. You can fish this fly all year and catch fish. I also like streamer fishing because it forces you to be active, and (if you’re a coward) you can even drift it under a bobber. I’ve had some really good days fishing this one fly.

What is the story behind your first fly rod or gun? Who gave it to you? I inherited my first fly rod from my late grandfather, who I never met. It’s an antique, 3-piece bamboo rod that my dad kept and passed on to me. I’ve never used it because I’m afraid I’ll break it.

What is the best hunting/fishing advice you have received? Spend far more time in the field observing than you do hunting or fishing. It’s easy to get impatient and constantly be on the move or obsessively casting your fly, but the more you slow down and observe your surroundings, the more you learn and grow as a hunter/angler.

What is your advice for younger generations? Get off social media.

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