By Tess Scanlon
A couple WestSlope Chapter board members had the opportunity to drink beers and catch up with Taylor Scott of the Missoulian Angler recently. We wanted to follow up with him because earlier this spring, the WestSlope Chapter and the Missoulian Angler had planned to cohost the 1st Annual Clark Fork Skwala Fest and raise money for TU’s Clark Fork River fishery restoration work. We did not dwell on its postponement, and we are excited about the idea of future opportunities to raise money for the Clark Fork with the Missoulian Angler. However, after such a strange year, all we wanted to do was talk shop and hear about Taylor’s plans for the shop’s future. Here is what we learned:
Taylor Scott Rowing Smith River at Age 13 - Missoulian Angler
Missoulian Angler Fly Shop Historical Timeline:
- 1987 Paul Kohler opens the doors of the Missoulian Angler for the first time; Taylor Scott is born
- 2005 Taylor is hired as a Missoulian Angler shop employee
- 2006 Russell Parks buys shop; Taylor starts guiding for the Missoulian Angler
- 2016 Taylor buys the Missoulian Angler
Best Thing about 2020:
Business at the fly shop is good. The Missoulian Angler experienced a good year despite travel concerns from many of their guests.
Biggest Challenge of 2020:
Contending with a complex issue that is more evident than ever-river crowding. The Missoulian Angler believes they have a responsibility to help protect the rivers from impacts of river crowding and increased fly-fishing pressure by dispersing that pressure to a more diverse spread of locations and through supporting local river conservation projects.
Future Direction of the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop:
Increase and expand online presence. Focus on selling technical gear and more of it to anglers far and wide. Moving forward, the shop will book fewer local guided fly-fishing trips in exchange for more international destination fly-fishing trip options. All the while, Taylor and his team at the Missoulian Angler plan to continue providing the legacy of service excellence is has achieved over the years.
The Missoulian Angler believes it has a role to play in helping conserve our local rivers. Taylor believes the shop is adapting in ways to promote overall river health and angler experiences. For example, building partnerships with organizations like the WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited and dispersing trips to more bodies of water.
RAPID FIRE Qs for Taylor
Q: Social Media, Love it or Hate it?
A: Hate it
Q: Synthetic or Natural
A: Synthetic has come so far!
People: M&D (Mom rowed; Dad fished)
Place: Blackfoot River
Thing: Grandfather’s rod&creole on the hearth
River lunch: Elk brat
River beer: Kettlehouse Shady IPA
River Trip: Annual fishing trip with ten high school buddies
Raft or Drift Boat? Rubber
Dream Adventure: Golden Dorado
Activity: Ice-fishing is more fun than anything
Family: Dusty (wife), Maverick (son), baby #2 on the way
Little Known Facts about Taylor:
Only solo fly-shop owner in Missoula from Missoula!