Please join us on September 27-29, 2024 in Missoula, MT for the third annual Hooks for Books, a weekend of fly-fishing, camaraderie, and fun to benefit the Creative Writing Department at the University of Montana. Twenty-eight lucky anglers in teams of two will fish some of the world’s premier trout streams, including the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Clark Fork Rivers with the region’s top guides, to catch rainbow and brown trout that often range from 20-25 inches! Participants will experience Missoula’s culture, cuisine, and many special surprises. Registration includes three cocktail parties and dinners, including tickets to the Writer’s on Water Dinner. Hooks for Books is not a competition, and anglers of every level will have a great time. But for those who want to challenge their skills, we also offer a few special surprises for the experienced angler. Our events are held in beautiful and historic downtown Missoula, and since guides will meet participants at the hotel, there is no need to rent a car.


About


Hooks for Books is a charitable fly-fishing event that benefits the University of Montana’s Creative Writing Program. All net proceeds support the program. It was founded in 2021 by UM Alumni, Tim O’Leary and Chris Dombrowski,  combining their love of literature, fly fishing, and the UM. O’Leary is an entrepreneur and writer, and Dombroski is a renowned poet, fly-fishing guide, and Director of the MFA program.

Like many universities, UM has experienced severe budget cuts that continue to impact the Creative Writing Department, and Hooks for Books supports those shortfalls to build a new generation of writers, while giving visitors the opportunity to experience some of the world’s finest trout fishing and the beautiful community of Missoula—a place where “the river literally runs through it.”

UM’s Creative Writing Program is one of our nation’s oldest and most prestigious, with an international reputation. Founded in 1920, it began offering one of the first M.F.A. degrees in 1966, and has boasted such iconic Western writers as Richard Hugo, Madeline DeFrees, Judy Blunt, James Lee Burke, Rick DiMarinis, and William Kittredge, while hosting Pulitzer Prize winners, Richard Ford and Jorie Graham, and literary luminaries, David James Duncan, Jess Walter, Susan Cheever, Barry Lopez, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, and dozens of others. Graduates have become essential voices in literature and the arts, penning bestsellers, critically acclaimed books (many that have been adapted into films), while being awarded Pulitzer’s, Pushcarts, and almost every literary honor. We appreciate the support offered by Hooks for Books contestants and sponsors to continue this important legacy of literature.


Register

Hooks for Books 2024 is sold out. If you would like to be on a waiting list for any openings, or on the list for Hooks for Books 2025 please contact us. Thanks.

Schedule

Friday, September 27

Optional fishing day at attendees’ expense (we are happy to help organize).

7pm – Dinner and cocktails at one of Missoula’s finest establishments, including readings by some of the newest voices in literature, and special guests.

Saturday, September 28

Fish a blue-ribbon trout stream.

7pm – Dinner and cocktails at one of Missoula’s finest establishments, including readings by some of the newest voices in literature, and special guests.

Sunday, September 29

Fish a blue-ribbon trout stream.

7pm – The Writer’s on Water Dinner & Auction, featuring the Writer’s on Water Award, Hooks for Books auction and awards, the Hooks for Books Bookstore, Dinner and cocktails.

Registration includes two days of guided fishing, dinner and cocktails on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, with tickets to the Writers on Water Awards. Does not include travel, lodging, or practice day guides.

Accommodations

We’ve negotiated special rates with the beautiful Residence Inn and AC Hotel in downtown Missoula, but space is limited, so register now.

Writers on Water

Attendees receive a ticket to the Writers on Water Dinner and Auction, held on the evening of September 29, and tickets are also available for non-attendees for $100 per ticket. Your ticket includes dinner, cocktails, entertainment, and the opportunity to meet literary luminaries and purchase rare, signed books. In 2023 we honored literary legend John Gierach with the first annual “Writer’s on Water” award, and this year we will again present the award to a writer who best personifies the intersection of literature and water.

Your 2024 ticket, which is partially tax deductible, will help support a new generation of writers pursuing an MFA in The University of Montana Creative Writing Program, one of the premier writing programs in the world. Tickets will go on sale later this year. Please check back.

Donate

Can’t make the event but would like to support the UM Creative Writing Program? Please donate below:

Sponsors & Supporters

We are proud to have assembled the best crew of outfitters and guides in Western Montana. Our past outfitters — Missoulian Angler, Renegade Fly Fishing Outfitters, and Missoula Fly Fishing Outfitters — and guides have accrued over 200 years of guiding experience on this watershed.

Our thanks to past sponsors and supporters that include:

2023 Recap

We are pleased to report that our second annual event was a sell-out, with twenty-eight lucky anglers from thirteen states in attendance. Revenue from the event exceeded $100,000, which will provide tremendous support to budding writers. Thanks to all our attendees!

The Missoula Valley as seen on a fall evening from Mt. Sentinel.