A Hook, a Worm, and a Fish
Return to the Pioneers
Story and Photos by Daniel Mathis
I was maybe seven or eight years old the first time we went to Green Lake. Everyone got burned by the sun but the trip was a success. We had a great lunch on the shore. My uncle, who helped to be a father figure since my real father was rarely around, took a lot of photographs, as he always did, and led the way. We caught some fish and the whole family had a great time. I went there many summers with my family after that. When I went to high school, I got busy wasting time and stopped going to the lake. My uncle passed away not long after I graduated and his ashes were spread at the lake he loved so much. I never returned after that, not because I didn’t care but because I didn’t know how I would feel being back. Even so, something important to me had been left up there that I needed to see, and last summer the urge got strong enough to carry me back. I decided to bring along two friends to experience this hidden gem and hopefully catch a few fish while I made sure that what I sought was still there.
Green Lake is a high mountain lake in central Idaho not easily accessed. It is an almost two-hour drive on dirt roads, followed by a short, steep hike. The entire drive can be done in a 4WD vehicle, preferably one that is dented, scratched, a little rusty, and driven by a brave soul as you leave the main road. But most sensible people do it on ATVs. Neither of my friends had been to the lake and there were a few wide-eyed looks from them on the trail, which was full of rocks and deep creek crossings that made lifting their feet essential to staying dry.