It’s The Little Things

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The Sign of Good Things To Come Photo Louis Cahill

“I know it when I see it!”

Kent and I were doing a presentation at a fly shop the other day and after showing a couple of hundred fishing photos, during the Q&A part of the program, a fellow raised his hand and asked “do you guys catch any small fish?”

I guess I’m as guilty as anyone for perpetuating the idea that size is all that matters in fishing. I sure don’t feel like that’s true but when you look through my photos you, sort of, start to get that feeling. It’s easy to go too far the other direction too and get all moist and sloppy about tiny wild fish. I really do love tiny wild fish but that’s not all there is to me either. I just want to catch a great fish.

I guess I’ll define a great fish this way. When asked how he would define pornography Sen. Jessie Helms replied, “I know it when I see it!” I guess that goes for fish porn too.

The average size fish in the stream where this little guy was caught is around eighteen inches and I caught plenty of those fish the day this photo was taken, but this beautiful little guy that my buddy Dan landed is the one I’m going to show you. In my opinion he was the fish of the day. Partially because he belongs there, as much as anything other than brook trout belong in Georgia. He’s a local anyway but mostly because he is the future. He is the sign that in spite of a great many factors working against her, Nature is still doing her job in one of my favorite little streams.

One day, if we are both very lucky, I’ll catch this little guy again and maybe he’ll be eighteen inches. If I do, I doubt he’ll remember me but I’ll take another photo and we’ll see if you remember him.

That’s enough romance for now. I’ll show you something big and dirty next time.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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13 thoughts on “It’s The Little Things

  1. I will take 8″ aggressive wild trout with beautiful color over dumb arse stockers any day!

    Plus, fishing headwaters or the like tends to present me with the company I prefer on the stream: NONE!

  2. I always enjoy your pics. Good stuff. I think it is inheritant that we take pics of the brutes. Let’s go back a few when any big fish was caught and then mounted. Nowadays our mindset is catch and release…thank goodness…so our trophy is the photo triggering great memories and stories we can tell forever. Yes, I too take pictures of those smaller yet colorful fish…how beautiful they are. Here in PA. Small trib fishing is fun during the dog days of summer, especially after a good rain and your doing well to catch a 8-10 in her, more common is the 5-6 inches, yet loads of fun.

  3. Jessee Helms did not say it. The correct attribution is: I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]
    —Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964), regarding possible obscenity in The Lovers.

  4. At 57, my absolute favorite fishing has evolved into a beautiful hike into a creek outside of Estes Park. The creek meanders in and out of Rocky Mountain National Park. Carrying only a short 2 or 3 weight and hiking the 2-2.5 miles upstream to a beautiful waterfall, 30-50 fish days are typical. Every fish is between 8-12 inches (but think they’re 24 inches), all bookies and cutthroats. The colors of the fish are spectacular to the point of looking almost fake. Oh……….I’ve yet to run into another fisherman.
    It’s all fun, big fish, small fish, salt water, freshwater, lake and river. We are lucky to call ourselves fly fisher men and women. But this is my favorite, by far.

  5. I’m guilty as well of big fish photo bias, thankfully. The extra handling needed to get a pic is not worth it in most situations for me. As a wade fisherman who fishes alone or at least shouting distance to a partner in most cases, the time and risk to the fish and to my camera/phone is not worth it. How many pictures of fish in a net do I need. When the stars align and a big fish runs me down stream and I land it close to the bank with my partner ready with a camera the resulting hero shot serves my ego while having no more impact on the fish than a clean release.

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