When my grandfather was on his deathbed at 91 years old, his eyes were closed, and with his hands, he quietly acted out the motions of fly-fishing his favorite river. He was no longer confined to a bed, but in his mind he slowly walked up that stream, finding seams and pools that he had never found before.
The Tuchodi River is a stream in the Northern Rocky Mountains. It's crystalline turquoise water is both calming and threatening due to its turbulence.
That river was always teeming with grayling and bull trout. As his hands went through the motions of gently casting a placing a dry fly into the current, I imagined him watching the sun shimmer off the ripples, and seeing the wisps of smoke rise from his unfiltered cigarette. He lived his life with the mountains and it still makes me happy to know that he was able to escape his suffering at the end and return to the place that brought him so much joy. I always hope to live my life in a way that will give me these sorts of memories; adventures that I will remember until the end. The ones that will give me peace when my eyes finally close.
The Tuchodi does that. It’s cool clean water pouring out of the sharp shale rocks. Steep mountains and crisp morning fog carrying the bugle of pristine bull elk. This is where we go to escape, recharge, unwind, and focus on the moment. That moment that can carry us through a lifetime.