As we neared West Yellowstone my excitement grew as I saw the turn to Hebgan Lake and a fly fisherman launching dries on the Madison River. Then it hit me, like a five pound bass, I had no rod and had made a promise to my wife of no fishing for our one year anniversary. I know you’re all thinking, no fishing for Trevor?!?! She must be a terrible wife…the truth is she knows me all too well and if we ever want to get to Jackson the rods stayed home. I am an obsessed fish head freak who almost breathes through gills and spits slime. To prove I’m part fish, I actually ate a moth the other night mowing the lawn and enjoyed it.
Kate and I at Jackson Hole…Happy Anniversary Wife!!
Katie surprised me with an overnight adventure to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to see one of my favorite musical artists…Robert Earl Keen. After enjoying an awesome BBQ lunch in West Yellowstone I was feeling better about the whole no fishing thing…and then came the Henry’s Fork on the Snake River. The wild Henry has always been on my most wanted list and here I was face to face with the emerald enchanted waters of the beast. Staring into its flowing soul, I could almost feel a girthy 26” brownie smashing my articulated zonker fly and sending that heart pounding, goose bump exploding feeling right up my arm. I did mention I have a fishing addiction right???
The closest I got to getting my hands on a fish during our anniversary!!
Next stop, good ol’ Jackson, but not before forging the pass with a riveting 10% grade. We saw some bicyclist trudging for the top and just seeing them made me hurt. I consider myself a pretty rough and tough dude, but DAMN…I wouldn’t want to flex calves against one of these animalistic machines!! Finally dropping into the valley and crossing the Snake River I closed my eyes on this one. I asked Kate, “Are there any fish rising?” Once the Snake was out of sight my blues popped back open and to our hotel we went to make preparations for the evening.
After checking into our romantic hotel (yes I drank the $4 as I entered the room, I didn’t know!!) we decided to check out the shops around town. Knowing Jackson is a tourist trap, I buried my wallet deep in my pocket and off we went. After seeing some very cool outdoorsy shops we drifted into a shop that said “Spices and Spirits.” The gentleman said, “Hello sir, have you been here before?” I replied with “no sir I have not.” He then said “all the spirits are free to sample.” Could it be…did I really just walk into heaven Before I could choose a scotch to sample I was distracted by another gentleman doing an absinthe taste. I looked at Katie and we said “we’re in!!” With mention of hallucination rumors from the liquor, the pourer assured us it was only folklore. So after sampling the black licorice sauce, I can honestly admit I didn’t see any dinosaurs running around Jackson. But, I could swear I saw June Carter dancing on a pony keg (I know, I know, it’s Jackson Tennessee, but it fits.)
DINNER TIME, we stood at the entrance to an awesome bar and grill with mouthwatering steaks and a wild atmosphere…or so I thought!! My wife Katie kept pulling on my arm saying “babe, it’s our anniversary, please do a romantic dinner with me.” What this means in Katie language is “babe, there is a sushi place down the street that has great reviews.” Translated into Trevor language “bring your own fryin’ pan to cook that S*^%!!” The next thing I knew I was in a bamboo atmosphere and OUT OF MY ELEMENT!! I decided to go out on a limb and order calamari for an appetizer. All was well until I tried to use my chop sticks…let’s just say I’m better at dancing (which isn’t saying much.) STARVING and about to use my fingers, Katie flagged down our waiter “Cooper” and asked if he could give a personal lesson to me. About to run and hide and feeling like the guy using his spinning reel upside down, I looked at my beautiful wife and gave in. Ol’ Cooper actually turned out to be quite the gent…and as long as you promise not tell anyone, I actually enjoyed the experience. I was now a certified raw tuna eating machine…after a few seconds in the fry pan of course. Then for the grand finale…a DELICIOUS fried banana split (I’m drooling just thinkin’ about it.) And of course it came with FORKS…the same forks my wife promised me the restaurant didn’t have in my earlier chop stick frustration….doh!!!
My best Sushi face!!
Now for the Flying Shoes…Robert Earl Keen up close and personal. Imagining one of my favorite artist in a small bar in downtown Jackson I was figuring Kate and I would be peering over hundreds of people to try and hear the tunes. To my surprise we stood just feet away as Rob Keen walked onto stage…what an awesome experience!! Katie and I danced and swayed for the next three hours with the only mishap being a corona splash in the eye. Shrugging it off and laughing, I remembered being in college and let it slide. All in all, even without a fishing pole…I had a magical anniversary with my babe. So cheers to good music, happy anniversary’s and getting back to “JIGGIN’ THE DREAM”
(Written by Trevor Johnson – Kit’s Tackle; Photos: Trevor Johnson)