I Might Have Taken a Future President Fishing

He had orange-ish hair, no patience, and no skills. Hmmm….

In the summer of 1972, my wife, Hilde, and I worked at a North Umpqua River fishing lodge in Oregon, which was owned by close friends. The lodge attracted guests from across the country to fly-fish for seagoing rainbow trout called steelhead that ranged from five to 15 pounds. The North Umpqua is such a challenging stream that it’s often called the graduate school of steelhead fly-fishing, and one of my jobs was to take guests out and do what I could to help them hook and land a fish.

Now, 45 years later, though I never caught his name, or wanted to, I have vivid memories of one of the guests I dealt with. He was a real estate developer from New York City with reddish-blond hair and a bland face with a single distinctive characteristic: a protruding mouth that resembled that of a fish, which made it look as though he could have picked objects off a tabletop using only his lips.

The developer wasn’t impressed with the lodge. In the dining room at lunchtime when we made our fishing plans, he showed me a photo of the opulent interior of his Manhattan home. That evening, as we left the lodge in my car, he began bragging about huge fish he had caught in other places.

“All I need here’s one big steelhead, on a picture. I got pictures of damn near everything I ever killed. And, believe me, I’m a good fisherman. Very good! You’ll see. Very very good!”

Read More of this great story by Michael Baughman (via: Adventure Journal)

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One thought on “I Might Have Taken a Future President Fishing

  1. A British Bodhisatvva reads, ponders inscrutably for a possibly eons-long period of time (mere illusion), then smiles knowingly and puts on Steely Dan.

    Nice.

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