When you arrive at your nearly famous fishing hole and find a mob of eager sportsmen stacked up beside every run, you may have David Zoby to blame. In his hilarious, bittersweet essay, “All Us Clerks,” Zoby recounts his desperate moments as a clerk in a Wyoming fly shop. Zoby spent his days selling bug spray, spinners and fishing licenses; stole a few hours on Wyoming’s best water and finished his nights on the barstool, but through it all, he finds a way to keep his passion for the sport burning bright.

Words: David Zoby

The out-of-staters were easy to spot. They went straight for the johns when they came into the store. And when they emerged, they went to the trout boards and read the reports in chalk. Their odd, over-brimmed hats gave them away, not to mention their desire to fondle the bulk of the rifle rack. They fought imaginary fish in the space between waders and wicker creels—the ticking sound of the reel, the spilt coffee, I remember it all. It was the summer of 1998.

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