In Montana, a local guide can get you into two thousand fish per mile, the right setup and only your thoughts and eight other anglers. But sometimes local knowledge trumps all–as in the case of ten-year-old native son Austin and the quest for the Big Brown.

Words: Ben Marcus

“Gary Cooper and David Lynch are native sons of Montana and that makes sense.

Gary Cooper was born Frank James Cooper to English immigrants in Helena in 1901. In person and onscreen, Cooper is Western Man: strong and silent, distant but hospitable, country but sophisticated, wise and bemused. He is the man with the faraway eyes, but as Marshall Will Kane in High Noon, Cooper was Montana personified: independent but lonely, scared but fearless and willing to face death to bring justice with an integrity chipped from Montana granite.

David Lynch is a different kind of Montana man, the twisted backcountry road to Cooper’s straight highway. Those who wonder where a man could develop such a sensibility in Montana, how an Eagle Scout could go on to create Eraserhead, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive don’t know the whole story. Lynch was born in Missoula in 1946, and probably grew up wanting to be Gary Cooper and a good Montanan, but the world jerked him out of Montana and into schools around the country. At some point, things got weird. You’ll find bits and pieces of the Montana west in Lynch’s movies: the fascination with small-town America and lost highways, the mysterious cowboy in Mulholland Drive, the eerie and the creepy lying just beneath the serene and beautiful.”

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