Few things spark the same nostalgic joy as the words “summertime” and “fly fishing”. After two weeks spent camping out of the back of my ’99 Ford Ranger (fondly referred as ‘Ol’ Bessie’), my tour of the American West had led me to this small lake-chain in the heart of Idaho. I pulled up to my campsite, drug myself out of the tight cab, and gave a real thorough stretch to unkink my joints after an 8-hour drive. Through the trees, I spied the most welcoming sight for a ripe-smelling camper… a reinvigorating alpine lake.
With fly rod now in hand, I made a dash for the water. I opted to prioritize fixing my stench over catching a fish so I tossed aside my rod and dove head first into the icy bath. Popping up a few yards from the shore, I noticed the better part of a dozen fingerling trout darting for.
I mucked my way back to solid ground, threw on my t-shirt and knit hat and started piecing together my run-of-the-mill fly rod. The already difficult task of threading tippet through the miniscule eye of a fly was made even more comical by my now-shivering frame.
The next hour or so was spent ankle-deep in mud and knee-deep in water, making fruitless cast to trout that were hungry for who-knows-what. I made my way out of the water with about an hour left of daylight and headed to my truck for a supper of instant mashed potatoes. An icy bath, an hour of “casting practice”, and a warm meal, albeit fishless, was the close to this adventure; another great day spent in the West.