“Best of all he loved the fall.”
I am an attorney by profession, but an outdoorsman by passion. For an angler and wingshooter, southeastern Idaho is a veritable wonderland. The Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which takes in a large part of southeastern Idaho, is the epicenter of some of the very best fly fishing in the United States. When I looked for a job as an attorney, this fact did not escape me. I love the famed rivers like the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork of the Snake River, but have enjoyed even more some of the more remote or lessor known rivers and creeks in this area.
As much as I love fly fishing, however, if I had to leave southeastern Idaho, I would miss even more the uplands where I pursue birds with my Brittanys. southeastern Idaho is home to numerous native game birds including ruffed grouse, blue grouse, sage grouse, sharptails, and a few nonnatives including Huns, ringnecked pheasant, and chukar. I have pursued these birds all over Southeastern Idaho and the habitat niches that each species occupies are special in their own right. I call the places where I have consistently find birds “coverts” and I’ve given them pet names like the Royal Macnab, the Outhouse, Grousketeer Ridge, Summer’s End, Dusty’s Nub, and Grouse Springs. Don’t ask me where they are because I won’t tell you. Over the years, these places have become sacred to me. I don’t own them in the legal sense, but they are mine. Two of my late bird dogs are buried in my coverts and every time I pass by their graves, I remember the times we shared together.
In the fall, Idaho’s uplands really show off. I call those Indian Summer days in October when the uplands are awash with color, “Glory Days.” The writer Corey Ford wrote something that captures Idaho’s uplands in the fall:
[Autumn is] the very height of creation–it is the reason to everything, it’s Nature’s ambition. What in summer can equal their golds and greys, their maroons and oranges? Autumn, with its rich memory of all that has gone before, –it’s the height, man, it’s the height.”
Now that I think about, I’m not sure that I could ever leave Southeastern Idaho. My heart is here.
— Andrew Wayment is a partner at the Idaho Falls, Idaho law firm Tolson and Wayment, PLLC. He is also the author of Heaven on Earth: Stories of Fly Fishing, Fun, & Faith and the blog Upland Ways.