story by Troy Letherman

“Someone should probably swing a fly by that rock,” said good friend and fellow writer Greg Thomas, pointing towards a giant, stream-diverting boulder that shouldered a short but relatively deep pool. A few seconds later, we were heading downstream, Greg’s rod bowed to the steelhead found holding right where he’d guessed it would be.

It was only the second fish in a day rapidly nearing conclusion, a bright, blue sky and ivory cloud kind of day, the afternoon light further emboldening the amber and gold milieu of a southcentral Alaska fall. Numbers didn’t matter, though, and they shouldn’t. Rather success had been bestowed upon our adventure the moment wader and water first met, wrapped tight in the loops of a first cast, a parting gift from the summer now past. Just to be fishing was enough—to be fishing for steelhead, freshwater’s most hallowed son, was almost too much. Friends—the conversation, the laughs, cold beers and fine cigars, a variety of depraved and sometimes heinous deeds accomplished deep in the dark of night—completed the package. This content is available for subscribers only.

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