What does a guide posted to a remote Alaska lodge do for fun on his day off? Pray you never run into this sort of fun along the banks of the Goodnews River.
Words: Scott Sadil
Foster wasn’t a cook but his friend Neal said it wouldn’t matter. As long as he knew how to buy groceries and fend for himself in a kitchen he was qualified for the job. The guides were easy as long as he had a half dozen good ways to fix salmon and he never, ever, ran short of desserts. The guests could get pissy—but screw them, said Neal. A new group arrived every day, so even if you blew a dinner, you could make it up to them at breakfast, set a pretty sandwich buffet for lunch, and they were gone by midafternoon on the plane that brought the new bunch to the out-camp from the lodge.
Short-term relationships suited Foster just fine these days. He’d been fending for himself nearly two years now, ever since his college sweetheart dumped him the very week she finished her degree in nonprofit management, a specialty she claimed at odds with his budding interest in the sport of flyfishing. Go figure. Raised in Milwaukee by an unmarried father, he had grown up with a type of seasonal salmon fishing that seemed, on most counts, close kin to deer hunting and rooting for the Packers; an excuse for drinking and chest-beating that provoked in Foster an air of juvenile contempt. Had his girlfriend been smarter, she might have seen through his act, pointing out to him what an obnoxious prick he could be, especially since buying a fly rod. Instead, she simply left him, chasing a lead on a six-month internship at a cycling co-op in Minneapolis.
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