This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
October 3rd, 2005

Back from Idaho

It doesn't matter where they are held, or even if great numbers of fish are caught - there is something special about a Fish-In.

For us it takes doing double duty, producing one issue ahead so we have one to put up when we get back (unless we are somewhere with Internet access). In this case, there aren't any phones except a pay phone, so there isn't any option of staying over the weekend and doing the site changeover (the new issue) away from the office.

One year we signed up with a local ISP in West Yellowstone, Montana, so we could hook up our old laptop and actually install the new issue when we were on the road. A year or so ago I put up the new issue from Emerald Palms on South Andros, Bahamas. But they had their own satellite system and we didn't have to take chances with the strange dial-up system down there.

I'm off the track, but I did want to let you know we do have some photos from this past week's Idaho Fish-In, and we will add to them as the folks get home and send us the ones they take. I'll put a post on the Bulletin Board as I get additional photos up for everyone to see.

We did get away on Monday, which was earlier than we expected. Worked out just dandy. Our cabin was ready for us - the owners of the Three Rivers Lodge left an envelope tacked to the front of their office with our name, the keys and cabin number on it and we just moved in.

That's the view out our front door of the Lochsa River. A cup of coffee on the front porch made it real comfortable.

This whole area is just breathtaking. The Selway is part of the National Scenic Waters and the view from every turn of the road is amazing.

Like so much of the west, just because a river isn't on the 'official list' doesn't make it less beautiful. The photos below are of the Lochsa.

Benjamin Hart showed up at the Fish-In on Wednesday and kidnaped JC and me for a float down the Clearwater. The Selway and Lochsa combine right at the resort to form the Clearwater. Ben has a very nice raft, well equipped and we had a wonderful afternoon. We did run through a couple of small rapids, and even though we have never done any white water rafting, I can see the attraction. It was great fun. Ben is a fine boatman and guide, I never had a worry in the world. Jim and I both missed a strike or two and he did catch a nice rainbow.

Ben usually guides out of the Missoula region, you can reach him at dryflies@gmail.com.

The photo above is of the Clearwater.

Most of our meals were taken at the Wilderness Café just across the river from the resort. After about a day of our group being in 'town' they put a couple of big tables together at dinner time and we all sat together and just enjoyed each others company.

We did get to meet some folks we hadn't met before, Dan (Grizzly Wulff) Sedergren from Colorado made the trip again. He had attended last year, but since we left abruptly we didn't meet him then. Terry Taterus, (hookster) took Amtrack from Pennsylvania to Whitefish Montana, rented a car and fished his way down to the Fish-In. Terry solved the mystery of what the fish up on the Selway were taking, can you believe ants?

Mark Killam and his dad Everett Killam were camping and had spent a few days above the end of the road past the falls on the Selway. Mark was the official firebuilder and built a warming fire for the steak fry on Friday night. From the photo below, you can see we didn't starve. Thanks Steve (Z) and Dan for a great job on the dinner!

Ron and Vicki Eagle Elk (REE & VEE) were there and Castwell has written about Vicki's fishing in his column. Ron surprised Vickie with a new fly rod on Friday night.

With the Sage Casting Analyzer there, many of the folks found time to work on their casting a bit. One of my favorite things is teaching casting, and it really is rewarding to be able to see the improvement as the folks applied what they learned to their fishing.

There will be another Fish-In at the same place next year, however it will be a 'regional' Fish-In instead of the 'official' FAOL Fish-In. Denny Conrad, Ron and Vicki Eagle Elk, and Les Young will be the hosts. Same time, last week in September.

The 'official' one will be near Grayling Michigan in August 2006. Watch for a new Fish-In page for that one soon.

Our sincere thanks to all who attended, it was great to see everyone. Hope to see you again on another stream. ~ DLB

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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