Without the Lawson’s entrepreneurial commitment to this small unincorporated village there might not be more than a gas station and a bar. I observed more than 10 guides preparing for their day, an impressive group of men and women dedicated first to a well crafted guide program 30 years in the making and second but equally important, a dedication to a professionally managed Idaho fishery that sustains their income.
Shortly after arriving in the shop with Chris I watched as each guide received their clients, signed them in with appropriate documentation, discussed their interest in the days fishing adventure and outfitted them with specific streamers, flies, leaders and gear. The room filled to capacity with optimistic fishermen and emptied out in a calm, cooperative manner in less than an hour. All under the watchful eye of the shops effervescent grand dame Sheralee Lawson, who along with her husband Mike was born and raised in the Henry’s Fork Valley. Kismet would have it, after touring the place I met Sheralee who told me that they actually started their fly business in the early 70’s at the legendary Gates Lodge where I began my American Rivers Tour. With 6 months of bucket list fishing under my belt, I’m now realizing the fishing world is really a tight knit community, proud of where they’ve been, who they know and the work that’s gone into building a life in remote places like Last Chance and Grayling.