Ain’t No Mama Like The One I Caught

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Alice Tesar

More times than not, when I listen to anglers talk about why they fly fish, it comes down to the intimacy the angler feels with the river and the catch. 

Now imagine you’ve taken your relationship with your catch to the next level.  She’s chomped down on your fly, you’ve set the hook and she’s taking you on a ride.  Except this ride is to the delivery room and the mom-to-be is demanding a gas station cherry and raspberry slushie before you pull into the hospital.  If you’re like me, that baby isn’t coming out ‘til that slushie is in my hands and if you judge me for only taking three sips, I will try to break your hand during contractions, so you can never fish again.

Inhale.  Exhale.

While my son’s birth story isn’t exactly equal to the 1100 to 1700 eggs that a rainbow trout hen will drop during her spawn, it is indicative of the irritable and seemingly irrational behavior of soon-to-be parents, moms specifically.  The redd is a depression or cleared area made by the hen sweeping her tail on the gravel of the river bed. Redd originates from the Middle English phrase to reddy or clear up a space.   Mama trout aren’t chasing your empty hook that dances by their nest because they have a mineral deficiency, they are chasing it because they’ve just redd up the place. 

These spawning trout feel an immense amount of pressure by the numerous male trout hovering and ready to fertilize.  Ichthyologists report that female fish experience pain while pushing out eggs.  Sound familiar, moms?  100% of wild female rainbow trout don’t have access to epidurals, unlike trout spawning in fisheries, where a numbing agent is used in designated pools during the egg harvest.

Let’s give a little respect to these female trout and their efforts to replenish our fishing holes.  Fishing to redds adds a layer of unnecessary stress to spawning trout and while they may not demand a gas station slushie they’d appreciate a little space. 

G&G thanks all of the Moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day!

Alice Tesar
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Ain’t No Mama Like The One I Caught

  1. What a well written article. It brings some past guilt to mind but also reminds me that I’ve learned my lesson!!
    Thank you.

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