Don't be a Jerk

Last summer, we did a great job of exploring new places around Wyoming. It seemed every other weekend we were packing up the pickup and headed to a new spot. This year, the calendar filled up quickly, with pretty darn good stuff, and we did a few bigger adventures while the time between was spent with family, house guests, and little more Cody time. Part of what I miss about not exploring new places, is reading about a destination, scouting around on maps, planning a trip, and finally seeing a place for the first time.

What is almost as good as discovering a new place, is sharing a favorite spot with someone else, and watching them enjoy it for the first time. I had a chance to do that last weekend, when I was finally able to meet up and fish with two Cody friends. Our first choice river blew out midweek with an all too common land slide, so an alternative destination was necessary. I suggested a not so well known spot on the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone that requires a pretty serious bushwhack, descending about 1,000 feet in about a mile. Having made the hike in once this year, and twice last summer, I now know the way in pretty well and no time was lost looking for the trail. We broke through the timber and onto a large gravel bar at almost a run. I LOVE that excitement of reaching a river after much anticipation, racing to put together rods, and finally making that first cast. Perfection

I often fish alone, and am spoiled because of it. No one to share a river with means I always get all the choice holes, runs, and riffles. When fishing with a friend, I'm torn between wanting to watch my partner fish a hole and my own selfish tendencies to want to fish every choice piece of water. Looking back, I rarely regret the former, and sometimes feel like a jerk for attempting the later. Something to remember next time.

The three of us fished upstream, before turning around and leapfrogging our way downstream. The weather was perfect for what must certainly be the final wet-wade of the year. The fishing wasn't lights-out but we all moved some fish. While I would have caught more fish on my own, watching two friends see the canyon for the first time, and hook up on a nice cutthroat is undoubtedly better. Plus there are too many bears around to brave that hike alone.