This is our good friend Greg Hanson, from the friendly and recently trendy town of Phillipsburg, Montana. And that is his hat. It's a central piece of the amazing tale about to be told.
On Tuesday last week, Greg, his son-in-law Arash, and I were floating the canyon section of the Missouri River. It was windy. Very gusty, and multiple hats were blown off heads into the river during the day. Greg's was the last to go, flying off into the river on the heavy rip-rap bank below Suicide Bend. I rowed over to recover it, but when I stood to scoop it up with my net the wind blew my boat away and the hat was just out of my reach. We all watched as the current sucked the hat down to the bottom of the river.
"Sorry, Greg," I said, "I thought I had it".
"No problem." he said. "Just a hat." And we moved on.
The next day we were anchored on the bank just about Prewett Creek, celebrating our fish of the day that had finally eaten a caddis dryfly after many, many presentations in a tricky spot. Arash and I were both looking upstream to see if there were any more trout to pursue when something distinctly different popped up in the current.
"That looks like a hat." said Arash.
"Yes it does." I replied.
"Wouldn't it be funny if it was Greg's hat?"
"That would be very funny, Arash".
The hat floated right to the side of our boat, I netted it, pulled it out and to our utter amazement it was Greg's hat. 24 hours and 3 river miles later, his hat floated on the surface as pretty as a pale morning dun, right to my boat.
True story, and further evidence that if you do something long enough you will see some absolutely crazy stuff.