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I remember the first time I walked into the old log-and-brick cabin in downtown Jackson. I suppose we all have an archetype in our head of what the ideal fly shop should look-and perhaps more importantly-feel like, and for me HCF was it - it had the requisite funk, character, sense of history, whatever you want to call it. That elusive "something" that can't be manufactured or contrived, a vibe that can only grow slowly, and never intentionally, over time.

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One of the most common saltwater fishing questions that I get asked or that appears on The Drake message board is some variation of, "I have to go to some stupid/gay/waste-of-time/soon-to-be-divorced-anyway  wedding/business conference/family reunion down in Cancun. I'mstaying at (fill in name of cheesy resort, usually within walking distance of Outback Steakhouse or Bubba Gump's), and I'm wondering if I can get away for a morning/day/eternity to fish instead.

It actually began in late September, with a couple steelhead on the Grande Ronde and a huge win by Oregon State over USC.

The fish:

Four Seasons Fly Shoppe interiorFour Seasons Fly Shoppe in LaGrande, Oregon, represents everything I love about the Eastern half of my home state. The entire region exposes much of western Montana as the playground for hobby-ranching Hollywood types that it has become. If you want to see a landscape dripping with old-school authenticity, then consider Enterprise, not Ennis.

The Dood comes into the shop asking if we "have any emerging ant patterns." When the attempt is to made to explain why such a thing doesn't exist, he swears up and down that he was just fishing on a lake and watching ants "emerge" out of the water.

The Dood asks if we'll give him a discount on 6 flies, and then 30 seconds later brings up the new Orvis Helios rod he just bought.