RIDGEFIELD, Wash.—“So when’s the last time you caught a fish on the East Fork?” Dion Hess, a longtime fishing guide, asks another. He sports a hoodie, blue jeans, and work boots. His hearty voice fills the room; his usual setting is hours spent on boats along the tributaries and rivers running like veins throughout Washington.
“Oh, years,” the other guide, Casey Kelley, responds.
Outside, despite the drizzly gray Saturday in February, parents huddle beneath umbrellas to watch their teenagers field baseballs in a sprawling sports complex in the small town of Ridgefield. Inside, just under a dozen fishing guides sit for a meeting with their congresswoman.
An occasional muted cheer from the ball fields reaches the upstairs room of the concession building, but it doesn’t slow the discussion.