Over the years I have written blogs on a wide variety of subjects. I never dreamed I would be telling people to not come to the Henry’s Fork. Governor Brad Little has issued a Stay-At-Home order for all of Idaho at least until April 15. On a national level President Trump has asked that we follow this guidance until April 30th. Given the current circumstances we’re now in that’s exactly what we all must do. I anticipate our Stay-At-Home order here in Idaho will also extend until the end of April.
Fremont County also sent out a notice earlier this week telling people not to come to our county in no uncertain terms. We thought the language was a little strong and did not acknowledge the positive contribution seasonal visitors and tourists make to this county. Yet we do not disagree with any of their restrictions.
It is not hard to understand the concerns that have been expressed by our county commissioners. Blaine County is about 2 hours to the west. It is similar to our county in that it is mostly rural with a few small towns including Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey. It is best known by fly fishers for Silver Creek and several other very good trout waters. Like Fremont County it is a center for tourism with a lot of seasonal visitors who travel from outside areas. Many of them have second homes that they use during the winter ski season as well as the summer season. Early on, before the coronavirus pandemic really got going, Blaine County identified several cases that came in from outside of the area. Before too long it became community spread. As of this writing Blaine County now has roughly 35% all of the cases in the State of Idaho with only a fraction of the state’s total population. The population of Blaine County is a little over 22,000 while Fremont County’s population is just over 13,000. Both counties are very similar in that at certain times of the year the overall population increases dramatically with out of area visitors. As of this writing Fremont County has just one case of coronavirus. That could change and it probably will but comparing to Blaine County it is not hard to understand the hard line our county commissioners have taken in an effort to keep outsiders from coming in and possibly spreading this terrible virus.
This puts us in a serious dilemma. The Henry’s Fork is a national treasure as are several other great trout waters of our region. It is very difficult for us to tell anybody that they should not come here to fish, especially at this time of year when the fishing is so good. However we support our state and national leaders who have told us that the only way we can beat this is to hunker down and stay at home. That is exactly what we intend to do and we sincerely hope all of our friends and customers will do the same. We believe that short term pain will result in long term gain.
As a business, we have elected to continue to publish our fishing reports. This will not only be beneficial to local anglers but also it will still provide information for anglers outside of our area to know what is happening. Hopefully anglers who can’t come here won’t feel that we’re rubbing it in their face. We are hopeful that by the end of the month we’ll see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Please stay at home and stay safe.