Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Up Yonder

     Everyone has that one place that they call their own. It may be where you first went camping. Maybe it is the creek or river where you caught your first big fish. For some it may just be a place where they can get away from the day to day hustle and bustle. It could be the place that brings you peace and tranquility. Wherever it may be, our place is often so special we are reluctant to share it with others.
    My father-in-law (Grandpa) knows the ins and outs of Wyoming. If I was a bettin’ man (one of many Grandpa-isms) I'd say you could ask him any question about a butte, hill, stream or mountain and he can give you the exact location, how many times he has visited said place, what animals he has killed in certain spots and what he ate for breakfast the morning before the hunt. Grandpa is honest, caring and most importantly loving. However, when it comes to certain hunting or fishing spots and the place he calls “The Home Place”, he will lie his pants off on where exactly it is located. He may even “forget” what fly he uses to catch those big fish. There is only one thing in which he will play fast and loose with the truth. Hunting and fishing spots.
       We treasure these places and we don't let just anyone know about them. Next to being someone of great significance – if Teddy Roosevelt came back from the dead, for instance - you pretty much have to marry one of Grandpa’s daughters or become one of his grandchildren. Don’t get any ideas – all those pretty ladies are spoken for and we are pretty attached to each of the nine grandchildren, so you can’t sneak in that way either. I was lucky
enough to find Mama B which happened to be my golden ticket. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally I get asked where my special place is and you can tell ol’ Grandpa has rubbed off on me
because I always answer the same, “Up yonder.” Since I won't say where my special place is I will describe some of the best moments. My favorite place is where the water is rushing by my side, a warm breeze moving the current along. There’s a fly rod in my hand that feels like it's about to snap in half. There is no experience like the fight of a brown trout or a Colorado cutthroat that has just taken my fly. There are large trees and steep hills - terrain that would deter most. In short, it's God’s country. It’s my place. It’s the place where I feel at home.
          So if you ever decide to ask one of us where the best fishing or hunting places are located, you better do your homework prior to leaving your house. You never know what kind of pickle you may find yourself in. There may come a time when you see me with a stringer full of fat fish and feel inclined to ask, “Where did you catch those fish?” Don’t be surprised if you hear: Up Yonder, or
The Notellum River, or Nunyabusiness Reservoir. From Grandpa, you might hear my personal favorite (thank you, Tom Reed) - Giffy Creek. No matter what we say, you probably won't find it on a map and if you do, by all means let us know how your trip went! To save you from asking questions in the future, I will tell you a little secret. We catch all our fish on “a little black fly.” But that’s another story for another day.

- Long Rifle

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