Some of the best times fishing are on waters that don’t have the “Aren’t we precious and important gonzo fly fishers” rep. The ones that hold few if any trout, flow mostly far away from the scenic mountains out on the high plains and are often turbid by nature. The Milk is one of these and it doesn’t make any pretentious attempts to polish its natural image in order to attract the adventure-travel fly fishing herd (certainly a bit of anthropomorphism here, but rivers have shown me a higher consciousness than any human I know). Even in full flood attitude as shown above the river produces fish – northerns, smallmouth, largemouth, channel cats, and a smattering of confused and somewhat lost brown, brook, and rainbow trout. Big streamers, take your choice because pattern doesn’t matter, flung bank-tight and stripped back with serious intent always turn the predatory and voracious fish. Northern jaws open and snap shut, bass burst the brown surface and channel cats sometimes play along for the hell of it. There aren’t any guides offering sage advice on how to make twenty-foot casts or serving French wine-drenched lunches, no yahoos screaming their few remaining brains out every time they connect with a thirteen-inch fish, no Avon raft gridlock. The Milk is an honest, no bullshit stream running free through the wild heart of good country away from the commercial madness that poisons fly fishing.