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Q2 AOW: Former Montana State Billings hoops star Seth Christiaens an avid angler

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Jul 03, 2024

BILLINGS — Seth Christiaens spent a good portion of his life centered around basketball.

The near 7-footer eventually won a junior college national title at North Idaho College before finishing out his career at Montana State Billings.

But his real passion lies off the court.

“About in the sixth grade (I really got into fly fishing). I was always into fishing," Christiaens said. "We went on a trip to the Bighorn River and that was the first time I saw fly fishing. I saw how productive it was on that body of water, so I started getting interested in it."

Interested is probably an understatement. Christiaens has tied his own flies since his junior high years, even briefly doing so in his dorm room in college after class and before practices.

He now has a room at his house dedicated to tying flies, and that’s how he begins almost every day.

“I tie my own flies, basically, because it's another step of the process you can do yourself. I'm kind of a do-it-yourself kind of guy. I like the satisfaction of knowing that the fish I caught was on a fly that I tied," Christiaens said.

Christiaens works as a member of the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Department, which can routinely put him in high-stress environments, so it’s no surprise fishing is his escape from the real world.

“You kind of go to these places to just be alone. I fish with people a lot. I go on several trips throughout the year where I'm fishing with people the entire time," Christiaens said. "But the majority of my fishing is either just me by myself or me with one other person just on the river. It's a great place to relax, unwind and clear your mind from a long week."