I really enjoy catching big wild trout on a fly rod. Even more though, I enjoy the challenges that come with having to hunt them down in places where they are few and far between.
I’m talking about trout streams where there’s not supposed to be any truly big trout living there. The places where catching a 12-incher normally gets you tickled to death, and where most fly anglers, if asked, would tell you point blank, “I guarantee you there’s nothing swimming in that trout stream large enough for a grip and grin.” These are the places I like to visit on my days off from guiding. I get deep satisfaction searching for that extra special fish. The fish that’s 99% confident no fly angler thinks he or she even exists.
When I’m searching for that one in a thousand fish, it allows me to forget that I’m a guide, and for a short period, I feel completely free. It’s just me, searching for a needle in a haystack, and I’m cool if I never find it. I’m in no rush. I believe if it’s meant to be, we will meet. All I care about is focusing my attention on two things. One, that I’m bringing my best on the water at all times, just like I preach to my clients, and two, that I never lose faith that there’s an out of place trophy out there, that exists. It may seem odd, but I’ve always believed that God creates a few truly magnificent fish for every trout stream on this planet, and places them in locations where it shouldn’t be feasible for them to exist. I like to think it’s God’s way of teaching us that miracles are always possible, if we just believe.
If you’ve found yourself bored lately catching the same old fish or numb drifting your flies through water that’s far too familiar, go out and search for that needle in a haystack fish. Try learning a new technique that you’ve always put off in the past or go out and try your luck catching a new species on the fly. I guarantee if you do, you’ll be reborn. It sure seems to work for me at least.
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