It used to be the place to be on opening day of the Harriman Ranch on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Last Chance, Idaho. Back in the day, it was a who's who of fly fishing with such fishing elite as André Puyans, Mel Krieger, Jim and Kitty Vincent, Jim Adams, Mike Lawson, René Harrop, and the list goes on. License plates from clear across the country were parked all over with their little campers, waders hung from everywhere. It is still a big deal to be on the ranch for opening day, but alas, we are all getting older and many of those listed above are no longer with us. It will never be the same to me as it was 25 years ago when we'd all meet in the parking lot, exchange flies, stories, beers and talk about what we'd all been doing for the last year, since this was the only time we'd see each other until next June 15th.
I was on the fork for opening day this year and it just didn't feel the same to me at all. It is one of those things better reserved in great memories which can never change. No Andy, no Mel, it's just not the same. I guess now it's time for the new kids on the block to take over and carry on their own traditions. I will just quietly keep mine tucked away where I can pull from the well whenever I feel the need.