Lewis, Clark & Oakley
WE WERE recently invited by sunglass and apparel brand Oakley to participate in their Masters of Vision Fly Fishing Media Tour in Bozeman, Montana for a few days of fishing and an in-depth look at the technology behind their new line of eyewear.
The tour took up residence at the Gallatin River Lodge, a first-rate lodge and outfitter operated by Steve Gamble, located just a short walk from the Gallatin River in the heart of Lewis and Clark territory.
Remarkably, the parking lot was even large enough to house the 67,000 pound Rolling-O-Lab, which is both motor home and science lab rolled into one. The lab tours the country 300 days a year, making stops at a variety of sporting events and conventions, touting Oakley’s High Definition Optics® technology and demonstrating the eight ANSI testing methods for performance eyewear.
We spent the first morning eating breakfast while peering out at a late season snowstorm that contained some of the largest flakes I’d ever seen. Our guide Chuck assured us that the freezing temperatures and hard falling snow were atypical for mid-June but offered the silver lining of actually helping the fishing. For an angler that spends most of his time chasing fish on the hot and sunny flats of Florida it was welcome news, even if it was difficult to imagine. Staying warm was clearly shaping up to be the battle of the day for me, but Chuck was right and overall the group did well, covering local waters such as the Lower Madison and the MZ and Sitz Ranches.
The second day of fishing found us nymphing the renowned Paradise Valley Spring Creeks for Rainbows and Browns and by all accounts it was a solid day of fishing for everyone. Even after the day was over I couldn’t settle on a highlight — a really nice brown trout that I lost, or the swallows that kept landing on the tip of my rod every time I stopped fishing and stood still.
The conditions, snow, rain, and cloud cover made it difficult to really test the new eyewear but the general consensus of the group was that Oakley has hit a home run with HDO®.
Read on for the complete story and photos.