A few final thoughts from the School of Trout's founder, Todd Tanner ...
Like so many other aspects of American life, fly fishing is steeped in history and tradition. Men like Lee Wulff, Joe Brooks and Roderick Haig-Brown set the same high standards for modern anglers that legendary baseball players like Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio left for today's major league baseball stars.
Some years ago, I met the actor James Earl Jones. I didn't mention it to him at the time, but his seminal role in Field of Dreams, where he played the writer Terence Mann, touched me deeply. I still remember the words he spoke to Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) about that miraculous baseball field in rural Iowa.
Ray, people will come, Ray.
They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past ...
And they'll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces.
We can't magically bring back the fly fishing giants of old, but for one week in 2018 we will bring together a group of renowned anglers who are akin to the legendary All-Stars from Field of Dreams. We will share our wisdom, and our memories, and our love for the sport of fly fishing in a way that actually makes our students feel as if they've waded deep in magic waters.
A few years back I wrote:
"Passion. That’s what it’s about. That’s what separates us from everyone else. We love being out on the water. It’s a genetic imperative burned into our soul, it’s a direct, no-detours conduit to nature, it’s a subliminal, primitive urge that leads, slowly, surely, perhaps unfathomably, towards that rarest of moments when, no matter our failings or our personal limitations, we brush up against grace. Fly fishing is, at its heart, about our connection to something far greater and more perfect than modern existence, and we can’t help but feel real passion for an endeavor so wonderfully unadulterated and pure."
We all, each of us, have that unbreakable connection to the sport of fly fishing, and we're looking forward to sharing that enduring passion with our students this October. If you love the outdoors, and if you're intrigued by the sport of fly fishing, we hope you'll apply for a spot at the School of Trout. It should be a wonderful week in Idaho.