Bye Idaho, It’s Been Reel

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 2:37pm


Sonja Wolke

I’m in disbelief writing my final blog at how quickly this summer has gone by, and by how unprepared I am to leave this beautiful place. This week has been a series of lasts: my last drive up to Island Park Dam on my route to post current conditions reports, last float to Vernon, last accidental swim in Box Canyon, last osprey soaring overhead while wading at Ora Bridge, last run to the fly shop to replace the latest flies I’ve lost, last ‘last cast’ for the night. If it wasn’t already apparent from my list, one of the things I’ll miss most about being here is fishing on the Henry’s Fork.  


Before moving to Ashton two months ago, I was given my first fly rod, not realizing how important it would be to my summer. I’d always wanted to fly fish, but besides going to a casting clinic on the quad put on by SLU’s outing club- which probably just looked like me whipping a handful of wind knots into my friend’s line- I never really had the chance or made it a priority to learn how. What started out as a simple green L.L. Bean rod quickly became so much more. After catching my first fish with it, a small rainbow trout below Ashton Dam, I was hooked. I wanted to go every day, and it was rare for a week to go by without me going at least twice.  Fishing was an opportunity to become friends with the people I work with and to better appreciate the river we work to conserve.

For my final project, I wanted to create a video that encompassed the many important uses of the Henry’s Fork. Although most famously known for its fishing, the river also supports a large part of southeastern Idaho’s agricultural industry and hydroelectric facilities, as well as a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals. I could not have done this without the help of Jamie who put my thoughts and ideas into words; Melissa and Jordan for recording the voiceover; and Tim for flying a drone (cautiously but willingly) over the river to get footage for this video. Thank you all so much! Link:

While this internship winds down and I head back east, I am fulfilled knowing more about what I want to do, where I want to be in the future- and how to fish, of course. It’s been an amazing opportunity to work with such a dedicated group of people at HFF who were quick to make me feel part of the team. I’ve been taught more than I knew possible; and while I’m sad to leave, I highly doubt it’s a final goodbye to the area and great people I’ve met while here.