Sadly today is my last day here at Creekside. In about two months I am off to the wilds of Mexican food, snow bunnies, large trout that eat microscopic flies and yes, even, crazy mountain bikers. Where is this wonderland you ask? Why no, it is not Vancouver, BC. Try again. Jackson Hole? Been there done that. Ok, ok I will tell you, just put down that log you call a spey rod. It is the magical land of Durango, Colorado where I will be fishing such rivers as the San Juan, Animas, Florida, Green and others, err...well I will stand there and tell others where to cast and with what fly. Yes, I realize there is no steelhead or salmon. No, I will not go into withdrawal...ok maybe I will a little. I have already completed my application to SSA (Salmon and Steelheaders Anonymous), so I should be ok. Let's be honest though, there really wasn't any steelhead here anyway...duh.
Whilst working at Creekside I have garnered the ability to BS with the best of them, obtained and increased the urge to fish for the mythical steelhead in a driving snowstorm and sub-zero temperatures, been fascinated by the amount of fishing knowledge Dan has in his head (and the amount he has most likely forgotten along the way. Someone, please write a book about this man), and had the fact that all women are crazy injected into my soul by Brett. While the later may in fact have nothing to do with working at a Fly Shop, it is still an inscrutable cold hard fact that I will take with me, so I thank Brett for clearing that up for me. Some apparently are less crazy than others. ( I still don't believe it by the way, so if any ladies read this put the pitchforks and rope down. I was just kidding. I swear.)
I enjoyed my time here and sucking the knowledge of all things fishing from Dan, Brett and Pete and interacting with many of our wonderful customers. So before I leave for the landlocked state of Colorado, I shall leave you with my last Top Five list. I know, how very High Fidelity of me.
Top Five Fishy Places to Live
1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - In light of seeing the Olympics just 3 hours north of us, yet tape delayed by NBC so that we have to stay up until midnight to watch for results we already got from that fancy doohickey the internet, this makes my #1 spot. And no, it's not just because April Vokey lives near there, remove mind from gutter please. Can I continue now? Good. This city is like what Seattle used to be. Drive 2 hours east, north, south, northeast, southeast, etc and you are most likely standing on, near, or in water that has fish, be it salmon, steelhead, trout or sturgeon. It would be like putting Seattle in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula, only better. Unlike Seattle however, these fish actually exist and you can actually catch them. I've seen photos. (I'm not allowed in Canada see...I umm...let's not get into that.) The scenery is awesome and of course in the winter when you get bored of world class steelheading you can go do some world class snow sports, plus the people are a hoot...eh?
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming - I lived in this mecca for almost 4 years. Doing everything I could to not turn into a meat popsicle in the winter while I waited for the thaw and fishing to begin again. Once you get past the fact that it's one of the most ridiculously expensive places to live in the US and that you will remain poor, it's actually quite wonderful. Within 2-3 hours of this place (depends on traffic through the park, July snowstorms and of course bison) you have all the rivers in the park (Firehole, Yellowstone, Madison, Gardiner, Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough Creek, etc.), the Snake River, South Fork of the Snake River, Henry's Fork, Green, Hoback, Gros Ventre, Salt, Flat Creek...ok grab a map would ya?! I can spend all day listing the epic fishing. You get the picture. The people here are awesome, the beer is good, great arts culture, and well, the nightlife is crazy. I was sad to go, but my liver thanked me. My suggestion...take up skiing so you don't get addicted to World of Warcraft waiting for the winter to end...
3. Bozeman/Livingston/Ennis, Montana - I'm sure that any of these three you've heard of or visited. Again with the epic fishing within a couple hours. Yellowstone National Park is right there, the Madison, the Missouri is within a reasonable drive, the Bighorn, spring creeks, Rock Creek, and others. Plus, it's Montana, you honestly cannot go wrong living in Montana. It seems that their drainage ditches have more and bigger fish than any river here in Washington. Plus if you ever get bored with the area around here, you can just go to Idaho or Wyoming, it's just a short jaunt away. Oh and did I mention Simms is located here...
4. Naples, Florida - You thought I was just gonna chill on the West Coast for this huh? I string you along with a couple Western cities than BOOM! Florida comes at you like a spider monkey. Naples is on the Gulf side of Florida and sure while you have to contend with hurricanes every once and awhile, it is soooo worth it. The Everglades sit dead south/southeast of Naples and of course you are within a couple hours of the Keys. So Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, and Bonefish are on the plate down here, oh and also that elusive hanging chad (sorry you can't mention Florida without a Bush joke. It is a fact.). And it is almost always wicked warm, which is a nice change from the "OMG it's still raining" springtime here in the Pacific Northwest. The problem with moving here is, your friends from here will start calling in November and not relent until June, begging for a place to stay for 3 days which than turns into 5 months. Just a fair warning, your house will smell like the inside of the bait cooler down on the beach if you allow this to happen.
5. Christchurch/Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - And this is my dream place to move if the bloody wankers ever make it easy for someone like me to gain citizenship into their country. I mean comon...you let Elijah Wood in, why not me?! WHY! I don't think I need to tell you about the fishing here, you've all seen the films, magazines, photos...Hell, Gollum's buddy even caught a damn jumbo in Lord of the Rings, pulled him right outta the boat. If a halfling can do it, so can I, so can you. Sea-run Browns, Rainbows, and multitudes of other fish would make me very happy to leave the US and become a Kiwi. Well and the beer, mountains, golfing, surfing, proximity to Australia....Can you tell I want to move here? Maybe I can pick up the accent too, I hear it works wonders on the ladies...
There you have it. An extensive Top Five and my last one for this lovely company. I have enjoyed the time and opportunities granted to me here. Peace out, catch you on the flip side and if y'all get the itch to leave Washington and come to Colorado, don't. I keed, I keed. But no really.
Thanks again to Pete and Creekside for putting up with me for as long as they did. Peace out.
Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic