During our trip to Syringa, Janel surprised me with a guided fly fishing float trip down the Clearwater River. When the guide rolled up, I must confess that I was a bit bewildered by his appearance. It was kind of like Mikhail Baryshnikov meets Bill Dance. He was wearing tights underneath his shorts (it was 45 degrees), a strange complement to the pinch of Copenhagen smokeless tobacco bulging from his bottom lip. I didn't really know what to make of him and wondered if he was about to take me on Idaho's version of snipe hunting.
Nevertheless, I decided to climb into the boat with him and learn the art of fly fishing. One of the most important things I learned is that fly casting is like sawing a board while flicking your wrist between the 10 (on the back cast) and 2 (on the foreword cast) positions. I did OK, but started getting the hang of it when I switched from using my right hand to my left hand. (Being ambidextrous, it's difficult sometimes to decide whether the left or right is best.) Here I am in action.
But then the jokes started coming. At least, my guide called them jokes. I would respectfully call them type casting fables. And when he found out I wasn't a Mormon (Idaho has the most Mormons per capita in the U.S.), he started telling Mormon jokes like they powered the boat. That's when I began pondering just how cold it would be to dive into the water and swim for shore. But I thought better of it and tried to switch the subject.
While I didn't catch any fish, I did get a great philosophy lesson from my tight-wearin', snuff dippin', fly fishin' guide. Some of the things I learned can't be repeated (what happens in the mountains of Idaho, stays in the mountains of Idaho), but most of what could be repeated isn't worth repeating. Maybe next time I'll get a guide who will just help me fish in peace.