. . . . When my wife and I returned that fall to Moscow, Idaho for my final year of law school [summer of 2000], I resumed my quest to experience all of the local rivers. One place that I had seen, but never fished before was Elk Creek below the falls, which are a popular tourist attraction. Like Potlatch Canyon near home, Elk Creek is located in a steep and deep gorge, which I realized would be a chore to hike in and out of. Earlier that summer, I purchased a brand new Loop 7/8 weight fly rod primarily for steelhead fishing in Northern Idaho. I had little opportunity to use a fly rod of this size in Southern Idaho. However, this new rod and big grasshopper patterns sounded like a good combination to sock it to the trout of Elk Creek.
Shortly after our return to Deary and still a few days before classes began, I informed Kristin of my plan, jumped in Blue (our 1999 Ford Escort Station Wagon), and drove toward Elk River, the closest town to Elk Creek. After following the signs that pointed to Elk Creek Falls and reaching the parking lot, I grabbed my back pack and took my rod and reel out of its case. I even thought to myself: Maybe I should leave the rod in its case during the hike for safekeeping. Then I responded to my inner voice, Na! It’s just extra weight. The trail to the falls overlook is well kept and fairly easy to hike. However, upon reaching the canyon rim, the hike down the dusty steep trail became arduous and slippery. Nevertheless, I was committed and I carefully slid my way down the steep trail.
The Infamous Root Wad . . . Mind over matter baby!
Unforgettably, at the base of the lowest falls, in the shade and constant mist, I cast into the pretty run just downstream of the falls and a fish eagerly chomped my grasshopper imitation. Upon landing this fish, I noticed that it was a decent-sized brook trout, an unexpected, but beautiful bonus. Of all the fish I caught that day, this is the only one that I took a picture of. I still look at that picture often and remember the hard hike into that canyon, but also the great rewards that followed. Sometimes,the hardest things in life are the most worthwhile.
This is not the best photo, but I was stoked to catch this beautiful little brookie at the base of the falls.