To the editor:
That’s the question I’m most often asked since moving to northwest Wyoming. These days I simply answer, trout. Trout!
People immediately make assumptions about my passion for fly fishing, and wrongly assume I’m good at it. But my answer in no way reflects the act of fishing.
I’m passionate about fly fishing, the pull of a Yellowstone cutthroat is the thrill of living. There’s a lifetime of fishing education involved. The streamflow, water clarity, casting angle, drag, drift, presentation, and insect hatch all matter. Even if you’ve figured all that out, there’s still a million fly patterns to choose from. What is a wooly bugger anyway?
The scale is always tipped in the trout’s favor. Yet still, hardly a week goes by that I don’t wet a hook. You see, I don’t like fishing so much as where it takes me – and trout fishing always takes me somewhere beautiful. Trout are the noblest of fish, only living in pristine environments. Rivers that support hearty trout populations are typically without heavy human presence and pollution. In this way, trout are the canary of the river system.
Today the streamflow and water clarity are working against me. Yet I’m sitting here on the banks of the Shoshone River deep in the Washakie Wilderness. I’m listening to the shallow river, staring south at a snowcapped volcanic crater 3,000 feet above me. Spring has blanketed the riverbank with beautiful red Indian paintbrush and purple lupine. I’m at peace. I’m happy. Trout brought me here.
I haven’t caught a trout all day, but that really doesn’t matter. Why Wyoming? After much consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that I had to find a place grand enough to contain my wander. But the simple answer for those who aren’t here to experience this grand place – trout.
(s) russell storman