Trout Bum of the Week III: David Meador


Dave Meador shows off a late-season Missouri River brown.
All photos courtesy David Meador

Welcome to our series called “Trout Bum of the Week,” in which we highlight some of the folks living the good life. . .of a sort. (See the bottom of this post for a link to the previous installments.) Most of the subjects are guides who have turned their passion into a vocation, spending their time in an outdoor “office” that may include a drift boat, gorgeous mountain scenery, and crystal clear water. Others do have day jobs but manage to spend every other available minute on the water with a fly rod in hand. Whether you aspire to one lifestyle or the other, it’s illuminating to explore the different paths these men and women have taken on their way to achieving “trout bum” status. 

David Meador has been fly fishing since 1978, getting started back in his home state of Virginia. But like most die-hard trout bums, he could not resist the pull of the West and the lure of the fly-fishing life. As a guide at PRO Outfitters in Helena, Montana, he gets to fish some of the most fabled rivers of Big Sky Country: the Missouri, the Blackfoot, and the Smith.

He’s already grooming the next generation, too, training his son to follow in his footsteps. “One of my fly-fishing mentors, Paul Roos, was wrong about one thing: He once told me that the toughest person to teach to fly fish is a family member. I taught my son, and it is fun to watch him around the lodge. When guests try to tell him how to catch fish, he politely ignores their advice and proceeds to show them that he knows perfectly well how to catch fish.”


David Meador shares the success of a young angler.

We asked David a series of questions about his favorite sport, and here are his replies:

When did you start fly fishing? 1978.

What’s your favorite water? The Missouri River.

What’s your favorite type of fly fishing? Dry-fly fishing for trout or anything in salt water.


Like many Montana guides, Dave likes to head south in the winter.

What’s your most memorable fly-fishing moment? Watching my son catch trout on a fly rod.

What’s your most forgettable fly-fishing moment? I was pulling my boat closer to shore so my client could get out without getting his feet wet, when I dragged the boat over my foot, pulling the toenail off my big toe. Ouch.

What do you love most about fly fishing? The places it takes me.


Sometimes, Dave has to use a disguise so other anglers don’t follow him down the river. . . .

What’s your favorite piece of gear and why? Any of my Helios rods.

What’s your next dream destination? Anywhere warm and sunny, where I can fish in salt water.

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