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Thanks for letting me reel you in, Statesman readers. One last time: Tight lines!

My first byline in the Idaho Statesman was published in 2006. I was a young sports reporter then, embarking on a career that has taken several unexpected twists.

Perhaps the most welcome of those surprises came in 2015, when my old friend Jason Lantz, my editor at the paper, called and asked whether I would be interested in contributing a fishing column for a month or two while the newsroom reorganized.

That was nine years and 454 fishing articles ago.

All that time later, this will be my last fishing byline in the Idaho Statesman.

This is a sad day for me. I love fishing, I love journalism, and sharing my adventures with Statesman readers has been one of the highlights of my professional life. But as I write, the emotion that keeps rising to the top is gratitude. So, I’m dedicating my last column to giving thanks.

Thank you, readers, for being a wonderful audience. Thank you for your kind notes and emails. Thanks for sending me cool story ideas. Thanks for coming out to my fishing classes. Thanks for taking the time to stop and chat — or to yell “Go Tigers!” — when you saw me around town or out on the water. It has been an absolute privilege.

After nine years and more than 450 fishing columns, Jordan Rodriguez bids a fond farewell to the Idaho Statesman.
After nine years and more than 450 fishing columns, Jordan Rodriguez bids a fond farewell to the Idaho Statesman.

Thank you to the Idaho Statesman and the great editors and colleagues I’ve worked with: Jason, Mike Prater, Nicole Blanchard, Chadd Cripe. And my predecessors in the outdoors sections, Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips. I appreciate your dedication to Idaho’s largest newspaper and its readers. The late nights, the hard work, the lessons you taught me along the way. Thanks for all of it.

Thanks to my partners in the local fishing community. Joe Kozfkay, Jordan Messner and their staff of experts at Idaho Fish & Game. Ryan Chris at Idaho Rod and Reel tackle shop. The countless anglers, tackle makers and outfitters I’ve had the pleasure to write about and fish with. Your support has meant the world to me.

Thank you to my family. It’s not always easy being married to “the fishing guy.” Thanks to my wife, Anna, for holding things down when I’m out on the water. It’s hard to believe that in the time I’ve been writing this column, we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters (and fishing buddies!), Quinn and Skye.

I also lost one of my dearest friends, our Yorkshire terrier Winston, whose passing was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Writing about losing him, and the countless messages of love and support that poured in afterward, was what helped get me through it.

Thank you to my fishing buddies: Caleb, Abe, Skyler, Randal, Jon, Justin, Casey, Nick, Clayton, Bryce — the list could go on. The stories told and memories made wouldn’t have happened without you. Thanks for the adventures, the crazy fishing ideas, the long drives at zero dark thirty, the laughs (so many laughs!), the heart-to-heart talks, and for being the best net men any angler could ask for.

Thank you to Idaho’s great outdoors. Nature is truly the star of this column — my writing is just the conduit that brings it to the page. It’s staggering to think about the cool places, awesome animals and breathtaking landscapes I’ve witnessed across the Gem State. And, of course, the memorable fish I’ve encountered. I’m sorry about the lip piercing, but hey — it helped get your picture in the newspaper!

This column may mark the end of my Statesman chapter, but my fishing journey will continue. And I’d love to have you along for the ride! Come talk fishing with me at one of my monthly Tight Lines 208 fishing classes. Plus, visit my website for local fishing reports, new columns and, soon, an update on where you can find me next!

Thanks again, everyone, for everything. It has been an honor. And until next time, tight lines!

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures and questions with him at tightlinesboise@gmail.com , or visit www.tightlines208.com for the latest local fishing reports and upcoming class offerings.