Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Fishermen

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it ws the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us..."
--Charles Dickens

This man was likely a fly fisherman. Spring brings with it new hope, but winter's tendrils still cling to the landscape. Ice melts, but temperature fluctuations and limited insect activity can make for highly technical fishing.

"Make a 60-foot cast to within about 3 feet of the bank just left of the sagebrush," Cody said as he guided me into a pod of thick rainbows in shallow, crystal clear water. I launched a tiny chironomid pupa up into the shallows with my left hand since the wind was bearing down from my right. I am not left-handed.

The strike indicator on my leader was bouncing all over on the waves, and I was watching for the slightest abnormal pause or twitch. It slowed down almost imperceptibly as it drifted with the wind, and I set the hook. "This could be a small fish," I commented as there wasn't much of an initial reaction. That's when 125 yards of line peeled off my reel and left me within 25 yards of having my entire line and backing ripped by a stillwater rainbow trout. Sixteen minutes later a hen that was unremarkable in most dimensions except that she was 3 inches thick across the back was in my net.

The fishing was challenging, and we made hundreds of casts that went unrewarded. Still, the sun was out and we were throwing small flies to big fish.

When they took our offerings, long duels were the norm.

After about 12 hours of difficult fishing, we had 24 fish over 20-inches in the net, and felt like things looked more like the Spring of hope than the Winter of despair.

These trout leave a bite mark on the soul, and sometimes other places too. Thanks for reading.


  1. Brett,

    Great fishing. Amazing photos! Sounds like one good time!

    -scott c

  2. I know you wont say but i have to ask where in the hell were you fishing? those are some unreal fish.


  3. Pigs On The Fly! Excellent as always. You are killin' it Son!

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