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Postcard from the Past: Ah, Spring and Lo… Fishing

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

As one sage said years ago, “In springtime, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love.” 

To which I add, “Ah spring, when an old geezer’s mind wanders to flashes of ‘trout on!’”

While doing more research, I came across this Postcard from many years ago and had to pass it along to our newer readers. For you old folks, you probably can’t remember back that long anyway and hopefully will enjoy this fish tale again.

Last year at this time, residents in my hometown were fighting to keep the place from being washed away by the mighty Upper North Platte River.

This year, if you’re trying to float the river, it’s fish awhile, drag the boat, fish awhile, drag the boat.

The Platte and Encampment rivers and surrounding streams have forever been the life-blood of this valley. Not just for agriculture, but for recreation and domestic use as well.

Float fishing for trout is tops among dudes as well as locals.

Folks here often combine their regular jobs with that of being river guides. Such was the case of a local hydrographer. He not only measured and regulated irrigation water, he also ran a guide service and was known for his wild tales about both.

When asked about the difference between a hydrographer and a water commissioner or ditch rider he reported, “About $400 a month more.”

Folks still relate one of his greatest float/fishing escapades.

On a beautiful day in July, the guide was floating a couple of paying know-it-all dudes down the river for a day of trout fishing. The dudes were inexperienced and fishing was slow at the start. 

Jerry was rowing to all of the hot spots, but the fishermen were unable to cast into the holes or catch the willows or hang up on the bottom.

Of course, the high-paying clients soon started to complain about poor fishing and the skills of the oarer. 

Jerry was working hard, putting on minnows, rowing to all the holes, showing them where to cast, untangling lines and clearing hooks of moss or debris, but to no avail.

After lunch and a few beers, catching started to improve. After each decent cast, it was “trout on.” As fishing improved so did the disposition of the anglers.

A great afternoon on the river was developing, and in a gleeful shout one dude asked, “I wonder what the poor people are doing today?” 

To which the guide replied, “Rowing this bleenkity-blankity-blinking boat.”

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