My normal routine in the morning is to microwave a cup of left over coffee to get me through while the fresh stuff brews. That’s what I did this morning but I forgot and when I went back up to the kitchen and poured a fresh cup the microwave was beeping at me. I guess I always was a two fisted drinker.

The Mountain Man and I are going to a seminar on Yellowstone fly fishing this morning. We are hoping to find new places and techniques for not catching fish. MM, his son and I drive out west every summer to leave deposits of wind knotted leader material in some of the most beautiful spots in the world. I would guess that the cost per pound of the trout we’ve caught must be about $2000. Yellowstone is great though, you can have an audience while you’re trying to untangle your line.

I am such a poseur. We showed up at the seminar and I was looking the part, fleece pullover, ball cap with modern fishy graphics, scuffed slip on shoes for the campsite. I was really flying the testosterone flag. I am a man. I fish. I can find my way around in the outdoors. Problem is I got lost in the strip mall that the fly shop was in. If these bonafide Mark Trail types could actually see me fumbling with a knot, or crashing a looped up ten foot cast with enough finesse to put down the hungriest trout, they’d get quite a bang out of it. The guy put on an hour and a half slide show covering the Gallatin River up into Yellowstone. The Madison, The Yellowstone, Slough Creek, the Lamar River and a few other drainages that I wasn’t familiar with. I’ve actually spent a lot of time in that area and I love to get out and fish, it’s as good an excuse as any to stand around in the middle of paradise. And maybe if I worked just a little harder at it I’d catch some fish and really get the bug. For now I’m fairly satisfied with sitting around camp, watching the river flow and going out to flog the water, pretending that I’m fishing.

It’s really all part of the romance I’ve had with the West since I was a kid. West Fargo was kind of the gateway to the West. Moorhead and even Fargo are on the edge of the East. In 1965, the Union Stockyards in West Fargo was cowboy country. It was a bustling place, my dad wore a cowboy hat to work and you heard that western twang, that accent that I love so much. Women who talk that way….wow. Barrel racers. And then after college Bill Benson and I went out to his native Idaho and experienced the summer of a thousand stories. I’ve tried to get out there as often as possible. Bill has made it now, he’s living out there, but he’s a real fly fisherman.

2 thoughts on “

  1. I think I hear my heart break, just now.

    I’m glad you atleast managed to read some of ifso’s wonderfulness. Maybe the archives are still up ?  This is truly a sad day, but thank you for telling me.

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