Nolan Trowe Montana blog

We set out with a goal to show those who follow High Fives Foundation a different and unique perspective on the lives, thoughts, and feelings of our Athletes as they tackle and engage in life as passionate and talented individuals.

These blogs don’t focus on disability. In fact, they do the opposite; these blogs show us how important it is to follow your heart. These Athlete’s disabilities are a secondary thought while we read these blogs, the disability even acts as a springboard to fuel the passion and heart that clearly come across in their words.

For the third installment, we asked High Fives Athlete Nolan Trowe to take some photos and get some words about his trip to Montana for the High Five and Craig Hospital Flyfishing trip. The trip took seven High Fives Athletes into the backcountry of Montana to the Silver Bow Lodge to experience the joys of fishing, being somewhere truly majestic, and the feeling of being disconnected from the problems of being connected to everyone else 24/7.

Words and Photos by Nolan Trowe


For me, Montana was not a physical place, but rather a mind state. A space to simultaneously disconnect and reconnect. Disconnecting from Los Angeles, cell phones, work, sirens, tungsten lights, noise, and in a strange way, even myself. It was a way to reconnect with nature, newfound family, silence, fishing, wild animals, and, again, to reconnect with myself. Perhaps we need to disconnect to reconnect. I know at least I do. By removing myself from what makes me me, I’m able to enter a different part of myself. That’s what Montana was. 


I grew up in Truckee, California for a good part of my childhood. During those years, my life revolved around pollen-dense air and dusty feet. And maybe the sandy footprints we leave behind us are not in fact our mark on the land, perhaps it is the land wrapping its arms around our bodies, urging us to remember it; remembering is not the same as never forgetting. 


We spent the dog days of summer mostly fishing the lakes or rivers, flipping turquoise panther martin’s, beholding the silver kokanee or rainbow trout they brought us. Laughing. Tying a fisherman’s knot in an already strong friendship. Nah, these ones weren’t going anywhere, regardless of catching a snag, the line unbreaking. That’s what I remember most, not the fishing, but the friends I fished with, the July moonrises and September sunsets. That’s what makes fishing special to me. It’s always been about friendship and family. The fish is secondary, a consolation prize on a fortunate, spring afternoon. Whether or not you’re slaying ’em, you still are. 



And fishing is returning home. Floating down the Big Hole River was to ride the currents of neurons gushing in my brain. To flip the fly line from one side of the boat to the other was to extend and connect dormant synapses. The excitement from surrounding boats as they reeled in a trout was to raise the shelled-echoes of childhood right against my ear. Listen. Yes. This is a part of me that was tangled in the stagnant algae of life. To pull back the green and orange strands, revealing the bright red of the hand-tied fly, to remember who I am. Finding the flow of the water, landing it on a good drift. The blueing of the day. And sometimes the fly doesn’t make it back home, lost to a grayling’s jaw or the river’s teeth. But, pulling the wavering, empty line in, we know there is another fly to be tied, a tiny golden hook lurking within its clever beauty.  



High Five Athlete #114 Nolan Trowe

If you would like to see more of the photos that Nolan took from his trip to Montana, check out the full album here

If you’d like to read more Athlete blogs follow these links


On Two Wheels | Mike Garrison