The Long Haul

Early mornings are the only respectable option right now for us catch and release guys and even that requires discernment.  I’ve seen evidence that some haven’t observed the increasing temps, as seen below.  I stumbled upon this 23″ brown (pictured below) up against the bank, probably hung on too long by an eager angler.

I nudged it with my foot to check the spot pattern on the other cheek plate (reading its thumbprint as it were).  At this point, in a moment of incredibly irony, not one, not two but five crawdads poured out of his mouth, disturbed from feverishly digesting the trout from the inside out.  I thought to myself, “how many crawdads did this brown annihilate over the course of her 5-7 years in the river?”

Catch and release has guardrails, and someone drove this one off the edge.

Avenging the family.

I was recently made aware that all glass containers on our river are illegal, which makes the annual glass hatch even more infuriating ridiculous special.  What is so difficult about bringing a plastic bag for your empties?  I’m always amazed at how many unopened beers can be found in one short stretch.

The glass hatch is upon us!

Love ditching the waders, even if it means a little of this.

Years ago, a few of my friends were starting to golf a little more often.  Their enthusiasm and persistence made it hard to avoid the tee-box.  I finally played a few times with them, and have continued to play a couple of times a year.  Enough to remember why I’d rather be fishing.

When I started out, a close friend and golf pro recommended I strip down my bag of clubs to five clubs.  Five.  Clubs.  This left me with few options on the course, but I got pretty confident with a 3 iron because it was one of a short list of tools in my box.

Fishing has been a similar venture for me.  I keep a pretty simple fly-box.  I probably don’t change flies as often as I should.  I can straight-line and high-stick but I don’t care if a purist turns their nose up at my thingamabobber.  I don’t care about new gear unless it’s going to up my game in clear, tangible ways.


Fish on. Very, very, very…on.

Two footer and the best fight of the summer.

Adipose I suppose.

Take a breath.


Common flies like this Copper John establish themselves as “common” via consistent performance.

Seeing how I plan on fishing for a lifetime, I want to build my arsenal slowly on strongly established tactics.  I’m in it for the long haul.  And just like martial arts, carpentry, or my son’s swim lessons, you have to demonstrate you are competent in the basics before advancing.  With fly fishing, the necessity of demonstrating competency is self-imposed, but important to me none the less.  I fully expect to be a great angler some day, but it won’t be tomorrow.

One thought on “The Long Haul

  1. I agree there are way to many options when it comes down to selecton.Gear and flys ,the first to drop is waders .when walking for miles they were not intended for hiking.Nets are my next cumbersome pieces of gear? They have great use no doubt but again can you survive without one? If there is one thing you must have thats water,so why not drink as you fish? I have become a minimalist and when others see me on the water they deem me as not threat to their water as I laugh to myself and say I used to be like that.

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