In eastern Idaho, where the north fork of the Snake River winds through piny woods and high meadows, a husky homesteader, Henry Stampp, became something of a legend in the 1880s. Of all the world had to offer, Stampp loved most hunting, fishing and seclusion. When fishermen ventured onto his secluded tract, legend has it, Stampp would roar out into the river flailing a cat-o'-nine-tails. After a decade of defending his wilderness, Stampp came to feel that there were rainbow trout and whitefish enough to sharewith some real sportsmen. In the next 35 years, three clubs—one of them acquiring Stampp's old property—sprang up on the North Fork. The river wriggling past these three clubs is open to any man, but the clubs are still dedicated to seclusion and, in ways far gentler than those of old Henry Stampp, resist the inroads of civilization.
One of these clubs, the Flat Rock, was at first limited to men only. Ladies are now welcome, but fishing is limited to wading with dry fly. Boats are out, and a television set is considered an abomination. The Coffee Pot Lodge, west of Flat Rock, is primarily a family camp, but limited to 10 families. The third club, North Fork, abounds in kids and grandkids, tolerates boating and water skiing, but is still essentially dedicated to seclusion. The snarls of civilization are creeping up on the North Fork wilderness but, now in his 51st year on the river, North Fork President Gilbert Sheets of Salt Lake City can still happily claim, "Up here, you can still read a book without a television set blaring at you. Up here, you can still live—and I do mean live."
Sunbathers Sandra and Carole Sheets of Salt Lake City bask (above) in the grass of the riverbank at the North Fork Club.
Teen-agers (below) Johnny Guess of Sutter City, Calif. and Mike Gibbons and Jon Juhlin of Salt Lake City head out to fish.
August 18, 1957
Veterans of a decade of fishing the North Fork-(above, from left) retired Major General Kenyon Joyce of San Francisco, Alexander King of Beverly Hills, Calif. and John A. Love of Clayton, Mo.—set out from Flat Rock Club to try dry flies.
Children Vicki Gibbons and Bonnie Lee Fillmore of Salt Lake City (below) interrupt a day's usual frolicking at the North Fork Club to feed and console baby chipmunks which caretaker found and had to evict from the club's birdhouse.