Returning to the daily grind is always hard after a fishing trip. It’s even harder when the fishing trip was incredibly excellent, and our recent trip to Idaho was excellent in every regard. The weather was exceptional: 80 degrees, clear blue skies. The river was in prime shape, the trouts plentiful, and we hardly saw another fly angling person on the river. As we returned home on Sunday to western Washington, we paid dearly for our good fortunes as two things welcomed us: traffic and gray skies.

Summer is so brief in the Pacific northwest that nearly everyone who lives on the west side of the Cascade mountains heads for parts east in search of reliable summer weather. We know the Sunday traffic gets bad as nearly everyone heads back home. We should have known better. We should have come home a day earlier, or a day later. Actually coming home a day earlier was never a consideration. The latter sounds like a better plan to me next time.

Heading west near the town of Cle Elum, the skies were blue, but in the distance we saw clouds stacked up in the mountains. We also saw cars stacked up on the interstate.

Note the ample blue sky.


After crawling along for 20 miles, we are within a few miles of Snoqualmie Pass. The clouds could be seen intensifying. The traffic seemed to be holding steady.

The blue sky is giving way to clouds.

Eventually we would break out of the traffic as the interstate widens from 2 lanes to 4. Did I mention summers are short here?  Some shorter than others, and this year seems to be no exception. Today it’s 64 degrees and the sky contains no fewer than 50 shades of gray.

50 shades of gray

Sorry, that was a shameless attempt to pick up a few thousand hits thanks to the popularity of the books I keep hearing about but have no intentions of reading. I’ll write about our Idaho fly fishing trip later this week. IN the meantime:  50 shades of gray, 50 shades of gray, fifty shades of gray.