The Lewis River Channel runs between Wyoming’s Shoshone and Lewis lakes. It’s found midway during a 12-mile loop hike close to the south entrance of Yellowstone. It is a wide, mostly slow-moving waterway often in view from the hiking trail. Near the channel’s halfway point is a large sweeping bend. A short detour from the main trail takes you to a rock outcropping at the very apex. The ledge looms about 30-feet off the water and standing atop it provides an almost unreal view of the crystal-clear water below.
Large brown trout cruise the enormous back eddy created by the bend in the river. From the high rocky vantage point, you can watch them glide effortlessly up, down, and across the massive pool in search of a meal. I have no fly rod, and even if I did, casting to and landing one of these behemoths was likely not possible. Instead, I spent nearly an hour just observing the underwater world in front of me. Something I don’t really have the opportunity to do when I’m knee deep in the stream, fly rod waving to and fro.
It occurred to me in that meditation, the trout stream is a healing force in my life. I often pick my wilderness destinations based on the availability of running water and density of bug sipping trout. Just being near a stream or lake begins to take away my anxiety and cleanses my mind of the onslaught of negativity that’s forced on it every single day. The sooner I return to the trout stream, the better.