Nothing beats a Logan canyon sunrise.
Comfortable images out of the past provide soothing reminders that most good things in life remain constant. In this case it’s an early dawn pink that creeps up above the first river that I fell in love with. In short time that pink hue transitions to a few minutes of bright orange, and in a flash turns to a full day of deep blue sky.
In the fall of 1977, freshman year at Utah State University challenged me. Not ready to tackle academics, the Logan river filled a void. All of the rivers flowing into Logan’s Cache Valley provided adventure and reality that I wasn’t able to glean from my classrooms. The Logan River was my primary playground.
After a few years stepping on and off the USU campus I finally graduated in 1984. Without looking back for years, returning required a visit to my first dorm Richards Hall and a drive around town to see how much my Alma mater had changed over the years. The sameness of the canyon became obvious after passing Logan’s power plant. Long, thin, steep, rocky shoots of white water line the road where we used to cool down in spring run off, floating on inner tubes for what seemed like miles.
Planning for this trip started on a late summer day when hard shell squash and red raspberries were calling for harvest from Estia’s kitchen garden.
A craving for contact with an old friend came over me. The easiest friend to find continues to flow from the high mountain ponds below Beaver mountain down through many campgrounds of my past and into the Cache valley. With memories of late teenage semesters and early adulthood learning I began to schedule a return to the Logan river.
I first researched on the internet for a fishing guide service but soon learned that fishing with a paid guide on the Logan river isn’t allowed by the U.S. Forest Service. I was, however, introduced to a fabulous young filmmaker named Gilbert Rowley who would help share my stories of fly casting and cooking over fire. Gilbert made an introduction to chef Donicio Gomez who knows the heartbeat of Logan rivers’ bug life and about the history of past fisheries. In the weeks that followed I was able to secure a plan to return to Cache Valley and ultimately film a memorable day on the water with a team of avid fishermen whom I’m proud to now call friends.
Donicio inspired me to make berry & herb infused compound butter that now finishes steak at dinner and pancake specials for breakfast at Estia’s Little Kitchen. Gilbert inspired me to work a little harder on my storyboards, slow down on the water and look for teaching points at every bend in the river.