Written by: Mike Kaul, Two Rivers Emporium
A while back, I received a phone call from a lady who wanted to participate in the Wyoming Cutt-Slam. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department sponsors this program to call attention to the plight of the four sub-species of cutthroat trout located in western Wyoming. She had been told that we fish for three of the qualifying sub-species. I always try to determine how clients find our services, and when I asked how she found out about us, she began to relate information that would lead to a heart warming story.
Being an avid fly fisher, she was perusing an Internet chat site, featuring trip reports from various individuals who had just returned from fly fishing expeditions throughout the country. One trip report she read recounted the Wyoming Cutt-Slam experience of one of our earlier clients, Fred Wammock. This extremely nice gentleman had come to fish with us for several days with the goal of working on the Cutt-Slam requirements. He enjoyed Pinedale so much that he stayed on a few extra days to fish on his own. Fred spent a lot of time in the shop and everyone grew very fond of him. We learned he had recently lost his wife, and the camaraderie with everyone in the shop seemed to brighten his spirits. When it came time for him to depart, he promised to return and fish with us again soon.
Now back to my conversation with the lady, Carolyn Wilder, who wanted to book a Cutt-Slam trip. Carolyn went on to tell me she sent an e-mail to the gentleman, now identified as Fred, who had posted the Wyoming Cutt-Slam trip and requested additional information about his trip, including where he stayed and which outfitter he used. Carolyn said they exchanged several e-mails and decided they could exchange information better if they had a personal conversation and exchanged phone numbers, whereupon they discovered they were in the same area code. In the course of several phone conversations, they found they lived within five miles of each other, they both went to the same dentist, and had probably passed each other in the dentist office. Carolyn also patronized a certain quilt shop where Fred’s late wife had spent a lot of time.
To make a long story short, they arranged a personal meeting, hit it off in grand style and came back to Pinedale as a couple to fish with us, so Carol could start on her Wyoming Cutt-Slam. Carolyn and Fred are now happily settled in Eatonton, Georgia and they spend a lot of time traveling to fly-fishing and bird-hunting venues. They just acquired a new puppy and named it “Cutt Slam Cody” in honor of the location—Cody, Wyoming—where Carolyn caught a Yellowstone cutthroat to successfully complete her Wyoming Cutt-Slam. At the risk of being perceived as a romantic, I envision two beautiful, handsomely framed, Wyoming Cutt-Slam certificates hanging side by side on a wall in this couple’s home, commemorating the union of two wonderful folks.
Mike Kaul operates Two Rivers Emporium, 2008 Orvis-endorsed Outfitter of the Year, in Pinedale, Wyoming.