A River Runs Through It....Missoula, Montana

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Clark Fork RiverMissoula, Montana is one of the most beautiful cities in the Northwest. And yes, a river does run through it. Missoula is located near the three rivers to be exact, The Clark Fork River, The Blackfoot River, and The Bitterroot River.

Missoula's amazing location and proximity to three rivers draws fly fisherman from all over the world, has inspired artists and writers, and even filmmakers. The city is frequently mentioned in novels of Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Frey, Chuck Palahniuk, James Lee Burke, James Crumley, and Norman Maclean.

One of the most famous portrayals of Missoula was by Norman Maclean in his 1976 novel, A River Runs Through It which was made into a film directed by Robert Redford in 1992. "The story is a semi-autobiographical novella about Macleans Presbyterian family in early 20th century Montana whose views on life are filtered through their passion for fly-fishing."

This story has influenced many Missoulians and has drawn people to our community for years. I've actually met several people who moved to Missoula as a result of seeing A River Runs Through It. One former co-worker had never even been to Montana. She was living in California and saw the movie and decided one day to pick up and move to Missoula!

Some of Macleans classic lines about Missoula include:

"The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana."

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."

"In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman."

"I am in love with Montana . . . Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans."

"On the Big Blackfoot River above the mouth of Belmont Creek the banks are fringed by large Ponderosa pines. In the slanting sun of late afternoon the shadows of great branches reached across the river, and the trees took the river in their arms."




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Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional
Bellevue, WA

Hi Kevin and Monica,

Nice post and lovely picture.  I don't care for fishing, but really do enjoy watching rivers run and listening to them. 

Feb 15, 2008 08:48 AM #1
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI
I love that movie, A River Runs Through It.  I never read the book.  Thanks for teaching me something new, I never realized that people were so moved by that movie that they relocated to Missoula, Montana.  Wow, fantastic stuff.
Feb 15, 2008 11:12 AM #2
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
Monica & Ray, I have never seen the movie but it sounds just gorgeous.  I used to fish, I wonder if it would come back to me.  That area truly sounds magnificent, I would love to visit it one day.
Feb 15, 2008 02:34 PM #3
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...
 Hi guys, absolutely stunning pic, I loved the movie as well. Have a great weekend...
Feb 16, 2008 02:09 PM #4
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching
Hi Leslie, Rebecca, Carole & Marti - thank you for your comments, hopefully you can all visit Missoula one day! :)
Feb 17, 2008 12:29 AM #5
joseph weaver new castle delaware

I love the ocean, I have fished the bays and river tributaries of the atlantic since beiong a young boy. I now earn for something different. i am in my mid 50's I don't have a lot of money since i have paid child support to two women. I now find myself torn between leaving the ocean that i so love and going to montana. I need to sharpen my outdoor skills like they used to be as i can guess that Montana is all about being outdoors. I want to live in montana to finish out my days, As i am sick and have about 6 maybe 10 years of being able to do for myself. yes, I am going to Montana...wish me luck!!!


Oct 04, 2008 07:45 AM #6
Wendy Widhalm
Hamann Real Estate - Benicia, CA
Broker Associate, GRI

Kevin & Monica~

I am originally from Montana and was fortunate to have spent 5 years in Missoula.  What a great town! Have not been back for a few years, but hopefully will make it to a Griz Game next fall.  Can't wait to take my family there to show them the Missoula area as we have spent a good amount of time in the Ennis area in the last years. 

Jan 04, 2010 04:37 AM #7
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