There’s gold in them thar hills.

I’m mostly speaking metaphorically, but the literal undertone is enough to make my opener a bad play on words.

I spent a few days in the heart of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains fishing the same tributaries miners dredged through the turn of the century and where a few modern-day forty-niners continue to swirl sediment in rippled pans. Even Clint Eastwood got a touch of the gold fever. He filmed scenes for his 1985 western classic Pale Rider on the opposite side of the peaks.

I worked the water with my brother and father, taking turns scaling the rocks and spotting the six-inch targets from a lofty position. It turned out to be a simple afternoon of ice-cold water complimented by sun-warmed whiskey. Unpressured and unhurried by any itineraries or self-indulged pissing contests. It was as it should be.


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