Fly Fishing: Searching for That Needle in a Haystack

4 comments / Posted on / by

Louis Cahill Photography

Fly fishing for a needle in a haystack. Photo Louis Cahill

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.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

4 thoughts on “Fly Fishing: Searching for That Needle in a Haystack

  1. A couple years ago I purchased some river front with good/great trout fishing. The very best part is exploring the feeder streams flowing into it. I park the boat a quietly wade up stream. I love that tunnel created by the trees and water. Truly a sanctuary for the soul. I know I want find bruisers there but being reborn is a perfect term.
    Keep up the good work!!

  2. There are a few overlooked streams that I explore where 6-9 inch brookies or cutthroat trout are abundant. On occasion, I will get something in the 12-15 inch range, making for a day that will never be forgotten.

    This past summer, one such day stands out among the rest. I was enjoying a fiberglass 6’3″ 2wt on appropriately sized fish. Ended up landing a 21 inch bull trout. I’m not sure if I was more impressed with the fish, or with my rod not breaking in half.

    I’ve caught larger fish elsewhere, but in such a small stream, that bull trout was more than twice the size of what I would consider a great fish.

  3. There is a small pond in a park near my house with plenty of small bass and sunfish. I love the little guys, but I know that there is a monster bass in there, though. I’ve seen it, but it’s never interested in my flies. I enjoy taking a day every once in a while to forget about numbers and just chuck meat in search of moby dick. Someday.

  4. I’ve been chasing the bigger fish on my local river for some time now. A 2lb fish being a good fish mostly. But in the past few years I found some much better fish in the lower reaches. The needle in a haystack is a real truism. I only took a handful of fish last year but also my two biggest in over 45 years fly fishing for wild brown trout.
    Love this site as the fishers never forget fly fishing is a great love for most of us.
    Keep it going guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...