Guest Speaker: Mike Hillygus
Last Update: 02/25/2019
Montana & The Stillwater River
Mike Hillygus…AKA Hilly, Gus
Mike is a California Native originally from Taft. Living in Cali from the age 8 years old until 22 (1968-1982). Growing up, Mike spent two months each summer learning to flyfish while on family vacations to Wyoming’s Miracle Mile; Idaho’s Henrys Fork the Box Canyon and the Madison River in Montana. Along the way he decided to go to culinary school and became a chef. When Mike and wife Pam, an accomplished violinist, moved to Missoula in 1987 it was an easy fit to combine his love of fly fishing, creating fine food and sharing his knowledge with others into what is now one of Montana’s premiere outfitting services, High Plains Drifter.
Today, Mike operates out of his two lodges. Stillwater Outpost and Clarks Fork Outpost. These two lodges provide incredible fly-fishing experiences that are distinct and somewhat off the main stream waters that get heavily fished by the masses. High Plains Drifter has held permits on a variety of Montana rivers including the fabled Smith River. Mike uses his experience and deadly charm to provide the very best Montana experience to all his guests.
Mike loves sharing his knowledge of the small Montana waters with anyone. “There are so many creeks and smaller waters in Montana that offer great individual fishing experiences for anyone to explore on their own”.
Mike can be seen floating the rivers in his bulletproof “North West Drifter”, slinging his favorite flies; the MFC Bullethead Skwala or his own variation to the Purple Haze. Mike also loves banging the banks with big streamers. “Big flies equal Big Fish”!
During the “off season” Mike can be found bird hunting with his English Lab's or chasing big Roosterfish on East Baja.
And one time a client: Asked me if the river takes us back to the car.