Arrogant. Selfish. Proud. A Wyoming Fisherman in the American South

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Welcome South Brother Photo by Louis Cahill

Welcome South Brother Photo by Louis Cahill

I spend a lot of time fishing with my buddies out west. Frankly, I’m spoiled. My western friends show me some pretty outstanding fishing when I’m out their way. It’s very seldom that I get the chance to reciprocate. Few of my friends from the west find their way to my neck of the woods. When I made the acquaintance of Jackson Engels, a talented fly anger from Wyoming, and he mentioned he was visiting North Carolina, I was excited to show off some of my water for a change.

Jackson and I had a great day on the water and he brought some Wyoming whiskey that helped. Later I got to thinking. What does a North Carolina trout stream look like to a guy from Wyoming? I emailed Jackson and asked for his thoughts. I told him I was thinking of writing a piece for G&G. His reply was so well written I decided to share it with you as he wrote it. In his words, from his heart.

For the record, Jackson did not strike me as arrogant, selfish or proud. Thanks Jackson, for a great day on the water, for the whiskey and for sharing your thoughts on our day.


Arrogant. Selfish. Proud. A Wyoming Fisherman in the American South.
By Jackson Engels

Arrogantly, I don’t like fishing anywhere but Wyoming. Selfishly, I don’t want anyone else fishing my Wyoming streams. Proudly, I KNOW the people of Wyoming are the most genuine and generous in the country.

Weeks prior to my trip, sarcastic farewells actually started to scare me. Maybe my friends were right, maybe a trip to Georgia/North Carolina to meet a fishing HERO…ahem “fishing guide”…ahem “fishing bum” was a a bad idea. Surely jokes about canoes and banjos weren’t really starting to concern me? And holy hell, squealing like a pig! What am I doing? Where am I going? Trout fishing in the South? Does that even exist? There’s no such thing! This Louis Cahill is going to kill me and bury me next to some backwoods moonshine shed!! HELP!!!

I had to Google it to be sure, but turns out the South is still part of the Union. Still part of America, check for yourself! Turns out our southern brothers and sisters are indeed wonderful Americans, some of whom are actual trout fisherman! Turns out, my day with THE Louis Cahill could not have been any better. In fact, I cannot recall a more a pleasant day spent with someone I just met. Louis is a wealth of fishing knowledge, obviously. But his kindness and open candor I found every bit as refreshing as the cold gin-clear stream. Louis gave me first cast on every single opportunity, offered helpful advice on all things fishing in a way that was anything but haughty, and wasn’t upset when I forgot to buy a license (which I discovered when we were changing into our waders next to the stream). Oh, and Louis bought lunch too. The fishing was productive, which only made the day that much better. In fact, I “slammed,” landing rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Louis caught more fish than I did, and bigger fish. But somehow I never felt outmatched or inferior or even out of place. Fishing with Louis just felt like home.

God Bless the American West. But my October fishing trip to North Carolina slapped the Wyoming snob right out of me (at least for now). Just so everyone is aware, mountain rivers exist in Georgia and North Carolina and Tennessee, full of the same opportunities I find sacred in my home state of Wyoming. By no means do Wyoming or her western sisters have the market cornered on beautiful trout water. My October day in North Carolina, I could have been fishing in Montana or Idaho or Colorado. The landscape of the canyon was every bit as breathtaking and dramatic as what I fish out west.

Thanks, Louis, for your kindness and generosity. You are welcome by my western fire anytime. (And something tells me you’re going to take me up on the offer). I was wrong to think Mother Nature plays favorites in Wyoming. To my surprise, She blesses the South with canyons and rivers and beautiful mountain landscapes and speaks in the same tongues understood by the peaceful mind of her Wyoming observers. She just has a southern accent.

May all Americans listen a little closer to our dear Mother, we can learn a lot from Her infinite wisdom.

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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8 thoughts on “Arrogant. Selfish. Proud. A Wyoming Fisherman in the American South

  1. Typically unselfish of Louis Cahill to post this on Thanksgiving. Sincerely humbled, my man.

    I’m thankful for new waters, new friends and the BEST fishing website of its kind –


  2. Hey, there is some great trout fishing on some of the rivers in TX too! I get to take advantage of fishing there when we go from OR to visit kids there in TX. PLUS it is a hoot to fly fish for some of those lunker bass in the warmer streams.

  3. Glad you showed southern hospitality to this “John Wayne” guy. Tell him to keep his mouth shut or I will never get to book dates with G & G again! Nice piece on your abilities to make a friend happy.

  4. I know this man, Jackson. Arrogant and selfish he is not. Proud, for sure, of his home state of Wyoming and the fishing in good ol’ Wyo. Having fished here a time or two in my almost forgotten past, I know it is good. Having visited the great state of North Carolina and the hills surrounding Boone, I know it to be a beautiful place, even though I did not fish its waters. Jackson tells it like it is and he does so in Norman McClean fashion. Makes me want to grab fishing gear and get to NC. Someday, maybe. You Appalachians don’t have to worry, though, about a rush. We move slow too, out here in the West. Thanks for this post, for your blog, and for hosting a friend and fisherman from Wyoming.

  5. A guy from Wyoming being condescending to the South? Get real. Other than Jackson Hole and its tax haven billionaires there’s nothing there.

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