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Hobble Creek trail in 2005.

The year was about 1950, and it was a family fishing trip to Hobble Creek for the first day of the fishing season. It was the first time we went on a Friday evening and stayed overnight. We usually went Saturday morning.

We camped between the road and the creek somewhere in the upper half of the Left Fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. I can see the site well yet in my memory.

The night passed happily with the babbling sound of the creek for a lullaby. The night passed quickly. Suddenly, one of my older brothers woke us all saying that it was time to get up and get ready to go fishing. It was still dark, so I though it was a little too early to get up. We ate a simple, quick breakfast. It was now starting to get light, and we were interested in getting to the creek as soon as we could.

Because of my lack of experience, I was slow at getting my fishing pole and other tackle ready. Our poles in those days were nothing but a willow sprout about six feet long, to which we attached a piece of fishing line and a hook. But the line was attached near the middle and at several other points up to the tip using half-hitch knots. It was not just tied to the end of the pole.

The process took a bit of time to do, especially for a beginner who was also a youngster. But I was working on it and getting valuable experience.

My other brother Bob and I were the only ones in camp now. The others had all gone to the creek. He was ready and was about to go when he noticed me working on my pole and not having much success. (Probably doing things wrong as well.) He immediately set down his things and came to my aid. Now, please keep in mind that the best fishing of the year was on the opening morning. And the best fishing of the day is in those first moments of daylight. So, this was giving up of prime fishing time. It was an extraordinary sacrifice for a teenager to make for a little brother. (Bob was about 16 and I was about 8.) He helped me get everything that I needed ready to go before he resumed his own fishing interests.

His small sacrifice in my behalf made a large impression on my mind. I will always be grateful for his noticing and caring for a little brother. It was one of those simple little acts of kindness that somehow became etched in gold.

Howard Nuttall lives in Riverton.