Henrys Lake – The Tradition Lives On
There are so many things that are special about our beloved Island Park and Henrys Lake that a short blog just can’t cover them all. But, what stands out on top of all aspects of our special playground is its place in the tradition of 4 generations of my family.
My dad used to come up to the lake every year with the Douglas Flying Club, and his best friend and brother (Uncle Dick). They would always stay in Staley Springs and fish every day – rain or shine. Oh, the stories they told. Every fish was five pounds or better (eventual photos must have been of someone else’s fish!) And the card games, evening cocktail sessions and tall tales were shared with all of us that had to stay home. That was in the 60’s onward. And lots of fillets filled the coolers.
Then I was finally old enough to make the journey. I wanted to carry on the tradition. And I have to admit the fishing was great. I hadn’t yet converted to fly fishing, so my old Garcia 301 sang loudly and often. Mepps spinners, rapalas and even a panther martin or two. I was hooked (ok another story for another time).
As time went on and my father aged, I began to come up to the lake and fish. My son became a professional flyfishing guide through high school and college (now a CEO of a Global Company and current Treasurer of the Henrys Fork Foundation). He taught me how to fly fish and that made Henrys Lake even more wonderful. We’ve spent literally hundreds of days together on the lake and in the area. He encouraged me to get a family cabin, which I did some 30 years ago. And he and his sister have millions of special memories and stories to tell.
Well, as the years of our lives disappear like sand flowing through the hour glass, I have to say the tradition continues to live on. My grandkids can’t wait to get to the lake. My oldest grandson has his first fish mount from the lake to put on the cabin wall of fame. He’s helping teach his younger cousin all about the experience. At 13 he plays the guide on our Boston Whaler to his cousin Ocean (ok he is from Hollywood) and Ocean has caught his first of many fish on the lake with his Papa and Cousin Charlie. We have had four generations of gratitude to apply to the lake and community and it is our hope the cabin stays in the family long after we are gone.
So, what do I (and I know so many others) love most about the lake – It’s like Tevye sings on the great Broadway Musical – TRADITION.
Photo courtesy of Uncle Jon and his nephew Ocean; and grandson Charlie with a couple of his many Big Ones.
God bless you all and God bless America
Richard Hodge – President Henrys Lake Foundation.