Catching Trash and Trout

No comments yet / Posted on / by

Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By: Alice Tesar

Instant karma on a Wyoming trout stream.

Robbie and I headed down stream on a remote creek in Wyoming and passed the only other angler we would see that day. He was headed the opposite direction, having already fished the holes we were headed to. He seemed unsteady walking but opted to cross through the strong waist-deep current regardless. My husband, who is always willing to help a stranger (sometimes to my dismay as we rush to an appointment), watched out of the corner of his eye ready to jump in and pull this man from the current should he lose his footing. The man, slow and steady, made it across safely however as he reached the solid ground of the shoreline a plastic sandwich bag fell from his pack. No doubt he didn’t not see it, but I am also certain given his physical state would not have gone to great lengths to reclaim the piece of litter as it drifted downstream. Robbie and I rerouted our planned course downstream to grab the bag. It was still far out from us and we could see it was going to get hung-up in a large eddy soon. As we headed towards the eddy, Robbie cast out his streamer in jest for some “casting accuracy practice”. His line landed on the bag, but the sink tip leader sunk the fly before we could catch the bag. Re-cast out and again line on the bag, but unable to reel it in. I kept walking to where I thought the bag would land when I heard a yelp from Robbie,


A large cutthroat had come from the depths of the eddy and chased the fly. Assuming I would retrieve the bag down at the bottom of the eddy he cast out again, this time with the intent of catching a trout and not trash. Strip, Strip, SET! He was on, the biggest catch of the trip; not all that impressive since we’d only caught 12” brookies up until this point. Distracted we let the bag drift deeper into the eddy, Robbie netted the fish- a stunning fat, 18” native cutthroat. Releasing the fish to the depths, he netted the plastic bag and we fished on catching healthy cutthroat after healthy cutthroat. 

This small sandwich bag was the only piece of river trash we saw on our trip which was refreshing considering the waterways we’ve lived on in our lives. Like most river users, we do our best to respect the waters we fish and leave no trace. The majority of the trash we see along the rivers in our hometown of Steamboat Springs comes from spring run off and heavy rains sweeping roadside litter along the riverway. Let’s see the bright side of picking up after those who have been before us – not only can we have cleaner rivers but we might stumble upon some treasures and huge ass trout.  

Alice Tesar
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...