Ask a Montanan their favorite spot to fish.
Some will clam up; others scoff and mutter some NSFW response under their breath.
Some are happy to help.
A popular quip, whether callous or genuine, goes something like, “Take out a map, find a blue squiggly line, go there and fish it.”
Simplicity and minimalism are part of what makes outdoor recreation attractive to Montanans and tourists alike.
“Generally, we all search for (simplicity),” said Marne Hayes of Business for Montana’s Outdoors. “I think when we bring people to Montana, or we try to invite people into these experiences … that we’re trying to share, we want them to find the same authenticity and the same value that we find.”
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Business for Montana’s Outdoors is a program arm of the Helena-based nonprofit Wild Montana.
Making sure it stays that way — making sure you can just go to a blue line and fish it — is complicated and time-consuming. It takes collaboration, partnerships, solutions and compromise from government agencies, nonprofit groups, land managers and others.
About 300 of those people along with researchers, students and lots more interested or involved parties were in Butte