|It's a trout|
The problem I’ve long had with trout isn’t really fair to trout. Little pale-colored stocked rainbows don’t represent all trout, but they’ve sort of clouded my impression of trout anyway, much the way that my ex-girlfriend Sharon clouds my vision of crazy women. Just as I know there are great crazy women, I know there are some great trout. The problem is that stockies have few, if any, of the attributes of a desirable fly fishing quarry. As I see it, the perfect fish is beautiful, lives in places where I want to fish, gets to a respectable size, fights well, is wild and is native to where I’m fishing for it. Now, before you start screaming “But you’re a carp fisherman!!”, let me make clear that what I’ve just described is a perfect fish. A perfect fish scores high in all categories. In fact, we can quantify the score in units I call falutins. If you want to fish for a high falutin Atlantic salmon, get yourself to the Gaspe. Or head to Key West for some high falutin tarpon.
Most of us, most of the time, must settle for fish that are not perfect, but are perfectly respectable. Carp, for example, while not native, are big and strong, wild and wildly attractive, and live in lovely places. Up until recently, the only accessible trout that didn’t make my bowels churn were Great Lakes steelhead. They’re not native to my region, and the ones I’ve caught didn’t fight well, but I’ve heard they’re capable of fighting well. Their other attributes are evident. And, they’re sort of wild. When I first developed my falutin scale, I only allowed a fish to get a “Yea” or a “Nay”. But these steelhead, though hatched in a hatchery, then go on to spend their formative years living legitimately. I now give partial credit.And this brings us to yesterday’s fishing. Right now, cold-water fish are really the only game in town. Seth, also a dyed-in-the-wool warm water fly fisherman, suggested a trip for stocked browns (trout, that is). My gut reaction was negative, but it turns out that our local browns, while clearly non-native and also stocked, are stocked as youngins but, because of cold, spring-fed water, manage to holdover for multiple seasons. As such, they are, I am not too proud to admit, perfectly respectable medium falutin fish.
|And hooks up.|