Return to the River
By Hunter Levy
Avery, September 2020
The Idaho Fly Fishing Company off the highway in Avery is covered wall-to-wall in fishing gear, outdoor apparel, and Idaho literature. Dad questions the proprietor of the shop on the effectiveness of various flies this time of year on the Joe, using words I don’t know like “barbless” and “caddis.” I am flipping through a collection of Idahoan memoirs when my father touches my shoulder and holds out a fly rod. I take it carefully.
“How does it feel?”
Its sleek, silver angles are different than the well-worn mahogany grip of his rod—the only one I’ve ever cast.
“Feels alright,” I say, unsure what it is supposed to feel like.
“It’s yours,” he says. Then he adds: “If you want it.”
I am a native Idahoan, the son and grandson of lifelong fly fishermen, and only now, at the age of twenty-five, am I getting my first fly rod.
“What took you so long?” I ask.
“I had to wait until you had the right temperament,” Dad says with a grin.