Last Christmas my mother, on the advice of my girlfriend and sister got me a fly rod and reel combo. My mother is quite smart and went to Cabela’s not knowing much about trout, the person my mom talked with asked where and what I would be fishing for. She told him where I live and that I wanted to fish for trout he recommended a 7’6″ 4wt. It’s a good rod to start with and I know I beat it up, whacking flies into it as I started casting. Looking back on it I was ridiculous, with little to no remembrance of the things that Jeff (Liz’s Father) taught me the summer before in the short week I tried to fish in Colorado, I stumbled to water. I remember going out several times untangling coiled, curled, ugly line for what seemed like hours before I caught a fish. I had no idea there was so much too it. Quickly I began watching casting video’s as I realized in short order that if I couldn’t get the fly in the water I couldn’t catch a fish. I worked hard, standing in the park across from the house when I could get a moment to practice my cast. The first fish was caught in a place I dubbed “Dinosaur Land,” the first time I went there I remember feeling like I stepped back in time some 60 million years to a place where I was not on the top of the food chain. I spent the day like many those first dozen or so, waking very early, line rigged and on the water by dawn. I saw nothing rising, so I was nymphing. I think this is a reason why it took me a while to start catching trout regularly. Nymphing is a bit more complicated than waiting for a convenient whack on the surface. I think it took time to notice a strike especially since I typically ignored strike indicators. I use them occasionally now but I don’t prefer them, I think it can be done without and you have more control over depth and presentation of your fly. I picked a spot I thought there to be a trout and made a decent cast about 15 feet. I remember watching the pink squirrel sink and then right as it went out of sight the trout struck. I reacted instantly so pleased I hadn’t ripped the hook from his mouth. I went so far as to get in the water to net the fish subsequently ruining the chances of catching a fish in that spot again. Thats how it went for a while, savoring every hook up and I’m still glad to be there, not catching so many that its a chore to have a small fish on your line. What’s the deal with those who only fish for big trout? How about finding a difficult to fish stream and pulling six six inch trout out? I find it more fun to fish a challenge, not to say that big fish are not challenging I just don’t pick my spots based on big fish.
I should note that I caught a few trout in Colorado but I consider this the start. Once I started catching them I became addicted. The fly tying kit my dad got me for christmas now suddenly seemed very important and not so far out of reach. So these to me are the first two that set me on my way. Cheers to the feeling of pulling a trout from the water. I miss it right now.