Written by Bob Bolam Nov 2018
Kathy feels I should write a little fish story for this page. That sounds kind of fishy to me, but here goes. As we like to say over and over, “Fish On”.
The actual story starts around the time I was 9 or 10. I used to spend my summers with my sister. She lived in Cataldo, Idaho, halfway between Kellogg and Coeur d’Alene.
When I wasn’t babysitting her children I would go across highway 10 (later I-90) and fish a small creek alongside highway 3. Our bait of choice back then were salmon eggs from a jar or worms. Many times, what I caught became dinner on the table. My sister’s husband would occasionally take me fishing on local creek and lakes. At that time you could still fish Wolf Lodge Creek. We would park his car up at the headwaters, fish downstream to the Wolf Lodge Tavern. To finish off the day, we would go into the Wolf Lodge Tavern, have a beer or two (at that time I was around 10 -12 yrs. old and in Idaho it was legal (so I understand) to sit and have a beer if you were with a consenting adult). The owner of the tavern would then shut down his business and give us a ride back upstream to get my brother-in-law's car.
And now for the rest of the story, fast forward several years. In high school we would ride our cycles up to North Bend, Washington and fish the Snoqualmie River. Even years later, a friend and I went ocean fishing down at West Port. That was NOT a fun experience – terrible water conditions, poor fishing and a lot of saltine crackers ….
After taking several years off from any serious fishing, we moved to Idaho (back for me, a new adventure for Kathy). Our son, Brian, had taken up fly fishing and was making many of his own flies. I decided it would be fun to try fishing again and join our son on some of his fishing trips. I went down to one of local sporting goods stores and bought some CHEAP fishing gear (fly fishing pole, reel, line, knife, pistol).
It didn’t take long to determine that I wasn’t a fisherman the caliber of Brian, so I upgraded my equipment inventory and took a fly fishing course offered by our local Orvis Shop. My fly fishing did get better, but still not even close to Brian’s abilities. But I tried.
Our adventures included many trips to the St Joe River, the Coeur d’Alene River, a trip to Kelly Creek and one to Rocky Ford in Washington. My equipment has been upgraded again to even better and Brian thinks I have improved considerably over the years and even sometimes thinks I have taught him some tricks.
Of the many things that have been great about our times together on and off the water is the bonding we have achieved during the trips up and back. I have learned many things about being a responsible parent, friend and buddy. And now we have expanded our experiences by adding Brian’s son and my grandson, Marcus, to our fishing party. He has joined us on many of our trips to the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene Rivers and has become very proficient at fly fishing.
One of our most prized fishing traditions we started is taking selfies each time. Brian even likes to make sure the background includes the waters we are fishing. Another tradition is finding unique places to have lunch. North Idaho has many quaint establishments hidden up in our far away hills. All our fishing is Catch and Release which requires having our cell phones at the ready. Modern technology has allowed us to prove that the big one didn’t get away. Fly fishing has been very rewarding, peaceful and fulfilling.
Here are some of the fishing photos from over the years I found: