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What I learned at The School of Trout

Lessons from a week spent with some of fly fishing's finest instructors
Angler students at The School of Trout gather at a boat ramp on the Henry's Fork in Idaho before an on-the-water instructional session (photo: Tim Romano).

I’m a wannabe trout bum. I feel absolutely no shame about admitting this. I’ve pored over John Gierach’s writings before bed, read casting books on my morning commute, or just perused fly fishing magazines while laying around on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve often thought to myself how great it would be to throw caution to the wind, put my belongings in storage and head out west in pursuit of the various species of Salmonidae that have come to occupy an ever-increasing amount of space in my head.

It's tomorrow

It’s today. But yesterday, today was tomorrow.
Photo: Chris Hunt

Son of a …

My eyes flip open. I reach for my phone and blindly swipe the screen to turn the damned alarm off. Everything is blurry. The alarm keeps blaring. I close my eyes tightly and reopen them.

The phone is upside down.

I flip it and slide the alarm bar to, “OK, already! I’m awake! Sweet mother of Christ!”

Yes. I know. Blasphemy is no way to start the day. But, seriously. It’s 6 a.m. already? Where did the night go?

Maybe I'll fish tomorrow

Mother Nature clearly has it out for me
Photo: Chad Shmukler

What the …

Is that … ?

Oh. The alarm.

I reach blindly for the phone on the nightstand. I don’t usually set an alarm, but today is different. As consciousness slowly overcomes dreamland, I have a vague memory as to why.

The Firehole. Fishing. One the last shots at it for the year.

Indifly wants you to cough up 66 cents a day to help fish and indigenous communities

Funds will go to help indigenous communities build sustainable livelihoods through sportfishing ecotourism
Photo: Josh Hutchins

And why not? Indifly is a one-of-a-kind, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting fisheries by empowering indigenous communities to generate sustainable livelihoods through ecotourism.

Unpacking is where it's at

Some folks love the anticipation of packing for a fishing trip, I like unpacking better
Photo: Mike Sepelak

It’s a common sentiment, written about with great regularity, that the packing for a trip is often as exciting as the trip itself. The suspense, the planning, the first steps into what one eagerly anticipates being a glorious adventure. The rod selection, the preparation of flies, the compilation of outerwear, footwear, underwear, and where the hell’s that bug spray. It’s heady stuff, anticipating the trip as one counts down the days to departure, but I have a confession to make. I like the unpacking better.