Russell Parks volunteered to guide my new friend, Mary Patry and me on the Bitterroot for the Casting for Recovery fundraiser. Never did I believe that I would have one of the best guides in the business, but I did! Russell owns the Missoulian Angler, an outfitter since 1987 helping anglers with both their fishing and tying needs.
Russell’s passion is bringing people and the outdoors together. His degree in Outdoor Education from MIami University has been put into action in many ways, including work with troubled teens. This work inspired research that proved to college educators that if you organize a shared outdoor experience like backpacking, hiking or mountain climbing for incoming freshmen the attrition rate is significantly lowered. He is a devoted father and husband, speaking highly of his poet wife, a teacher at Montana State University.
One thing I will remember about Russell is the time he took to analyze my cast throughout the day until he figured out the nuances that kept me from being able to throw my line the way I wanted to. His teaching skills were phenomenal. But besides that, I am so appreciative of his knowledge of the river, his boating skills and most importantly, his kindness. It’s not everyone who will give up a whole day of work to help women with breast cancer. You are so appreciated, Russell.