Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 7:15pm
Although I've spent some time in this area of the country with my family before, when starting my internship with the Henry's Fork Foundation, I was instantly astounded by how friendly and laid back people are in this tucked away section of America. This summer, one of the main tasks the interns have been assigned is conducting angler satisfaction surveys. Each day of the season, a few of the interns can be found at locations throughout Harriman State Park asking anglers to complete a survey for the Foundation on fishing conditions that day and how it compares to years past. Interning in Washington, D.C. last summer, I was given a similar task of interviewing people about environmental issues on the National Mall. The friendliness and eagerness of the anglers who devote their summers and falls to fishing the Ranch are the exact opposite of what I encountered last summer. Thus far, the majority of anglers have been willing to complete the roughly 5 minute survey and many have stayed after completing the survey to chat with the interns, whether it's asking us about school and where we're from or giving us pointers on fly fishing and some spots we absolutely need to check out this summer. Being from Virginia and going to school in New York, I was a bit worried about the transition into Idaho life and whether I would be able to connect and relate to the anglers, some of whom have been fishing the Ranch for 40 or more years. Everyone's passion for the area and their genuine concern about the health of the Henry's Fork and its renowned rainbow trout have made my transition remarkably easy and have made me feel absolutely at home here in Idaho. I've never met a community more eager to share, friendly, or passionate about helping an area, and it's made me incredibly excited to go out everyday and see the familiar, friendly faces of anglers I've already met this season and to make new connections with anglers, some of them experiencing the beauty of the Harriman State Park for the first time, just like me a few weeks ago.