Friday, July 24, 2009
I spent last weekend in Jackson Hole Wyoming at a transplant conference. My friend Owen Phillips, the U. of Wyoming experimental economist who I first met when he visited Harvard in 2005, invited me to go fly fishing with him the next day. He hired a well recommended fishing guide, Mickey Brockman.
Fishing guides are licensed by the state, and work as subcontractors for businesses that hold outfitters' licenses (in Mickey's case, Westbank Anglers). So the arrangement is a bit like taxi drivers in cities where legal cabs require taxi medallions, except that fishing guides use their own equipment. Mickey's equipment includes a dory, which he rows facing forward, and a variety of fishing gear, including the barbless hooks that allow you to release the fish quickly after catching it. (He also packed lunch, which we ate looking up at the Grand Tetons, which sounds even better in French.)
Owen and I presented Mickey with a complicated task, since Owen is an expert angler with a lifetime of experience, and I was holding a fly reel for the first time. So, Mickey had to teach me the mechanics of casting, while keeping up a running list of likely targets for Owen to aim at.
It was an experience, and if you're in Jackson Hole and can't get Owen to take you, I certainly recommend Mickey.
To make the story long, we finished the day eating elk at Stiegler's (also recommended), which got us thinking about the market for elk: it turns out they are farm raised.
From Jackson Hole I flew to Stony Brook, Long Island, for a game theory conference. That tells you something about medicine and economics...