Wednesday, May 07, 2008


It's that time of year again. A time of year that all we who fly fish wait for. We wait patiently and in my case not so patiently, for the endless storms of winter to pass.
The blooming daffodils are usually the first indication that our winter of discontent is finally coming to an end and then of course the beginning of the baseball season.
What is it that causes us to pursue trout? Why are we drawn to this fish?
I think we as fly fishers have a lot thank trout for. It's trout that brought us into this wonderful form of angling after all. It's trout that gives us camaraderie with other like minded souls and in many cases life long bonds of friendship are formed. It's trout that keeps us young and optimistic and above all else hopeful
In his classic work "Year of the Trout" author Steve Raymond poses these questions.

"What magic quality does the trout possess that compels men to search for it in such dark and desperate weather? What virtue does it offer to command such unwavering devotion?"

He goes on to explain why he loves trout so much.

" I love trout because they are among the most beautiful and graceful of all creatures and because they dwell in some of the most beautiful and graceful of all places.
I love them because I am a fly fisherman and trout inspired the invention of my sport; without them it would be a very different sport, if indeed it existed at all"

I would ask any of you reading this if you feel the same way...I know I do.
Would I love the Deschutes or Metolius so much if it weren't for the wonderful trout that live there? Oh I know I would love those rivers for just their beauty alone but it is the trout that drew me there in the first place.
Has a fish ever been as written about as trout? Think of all the classic fly fishing books devoted to trout. "The Joy of Trout" or "Trout Magic" or "Year of the Trout" just to name a few.
I have staked my reputation, for what it's worth, on the salvation cutthroat trout. Why would I do that? Why would anyone think that this trout is so special as to put so much passion behind saving them?
I cannot explain it except to say trout and the pursuit of them maybe the one thing I may do well and I'm not talking catch ratio either. Trout brings out the little child in us and we know that we want them to endure because it is the right thing to do for everyone, even those who do not fish.
A good friend has taught me this pursuit we call fly fishing is something that is filled with tradition even in this day and age tradition still matters doesn't it? He taught me that it is giving it your best effort. So why wouldn't we give the preservation of trout our best effort also?
Why would I spend my children's inheritance on sticks made out of an asian tall grass? Why would I go to great length to acquire a single action fly reel from a maker who is unknown outside of the fly fishing world and spend as much money on it as a set of fine golf clubs.
The logic escapes the most romantic dreamer except those who share this obsession called trout.
Here's wishing all of you a fine trout season filled with the joy and yes even the frustration of trout.....tight lines!


  1. Great post, great photo (Brook Trout fetishist here... don't know what it is about 'em but they're my favorite -- other than the trout that happens to be rising in front of me on any given day).


  2. Tight Lines to you as well Shane.

    I think WD Wetherell put it really well in his book "upland stream", ..."where hemlock-dwelling trout mock you with their inaccessibility".

    Enjoy your season.