Ride With ClydeTroutU.S. placesClyde in the Jackalope Capital. Douglas, Wyoming.

The flashing freeway sign reminded us that high winds had closed I-25 to light and/or high-profile vehicles. This wasn’t a problem for Clyde. Ford built him in 1974 weighing just under 5,000 pounds. Its big-block 460 engine alone weighs more than 700. We weren’t getting blown anywhere. Instead, we were comfortably cruising north riding low and heavy, eventually passing four semis lying on their side in the median. Don’t mess with Wyoming cross winds.

Just after midnight, we reached the Holiday Inn Express in Douglas. As we made our way through town, the Bluetooth speaker supplying our tunes reminded my copilot and me that Wu-Tang Clan “ain’t nothin’ ta fuck wit.” Despite the shitty forecast for the following day, with Clyde in our crew we felt the same way—unstoppable. So we drank a dozen Coors to celebrate.

Douglas, Wyoming, with the North Platte flowing right through it, might be something of an underrated trout town. It also offers a great base for carp fishing, with the Glenrock Power Plant stretch of Platte nearby, as well several reachable reservoirs. Yet the least-known bragging right belonging to Douglas is its title as jackalope capital of the world. Like carp, jackalope can be hard to come by, but ever since the animals were first discovered near Douglas in the ’30s, the town has been one of the few places to buy jackalope hunting licenses.

We should’ve bought one. It’s no secret that carping isn’t for quitters. But after covering considerable water, and spending several hours blind-casting just to ensure the thoroughness of our impending ass-kicking, we quit.

In retrospect, we should have hit a trout river closer to home, like the Eagle, Frying Pan, or Roaring Fork. But playing it safe has never been Clyde’s m.o. Heading back to Denver, I’m not sure who took who fishing. A stiff tailwind helped get him up to 90, but the Wyoming sunset was too good not to stop. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so bad. Almost everyone gets skunked their first time carping. Why should Clyde have it any different? Besides, we made up for it by hunting jackalope the whole way home.

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Kyle Wilkinson
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