The blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

I Caught a Fish!

Rainbow Trout from Grey Reef, Alcova, Wyoming.

“I caught a fish I caught fish I caught a fish I CAUGHT A FISH!” That was my idiot rant after, you guessed it, I caught a fish. It turns out this is easier to do than I previously suspected.

By main issue (before) was that I was wading, and it’s hard to cover a lot of river on your own two feet. This is especially true if you tend to cast erratically and thus alert the fish to your unnatural presence. But on this glorious day of fish-catching, I was in a drift boat.

I’ve been told that an important component to a successful cast is floating the fly (or nymph, in my case. More discussion on Nymphing on Mountain Kidd post “No Fish were Harmed“) downstream at the same rate as the river flows. This is infinitely easier when you happen to be in a boat that is also  moving downstream. Another bonus: when you’re drifting downstream, you don’t necessarily have to cast over and over. There’s a nifty trick called a roll cast, which I could attempt to explain here but this guy does much better.

Notice how there’s no flinging of the line behind you? This is KEY if you tend to, oh, say, hook yourself in your fuzzy hoody on your head, for example. And that’s just embarrassing. But back to the big catch.

When the fish is bigger and you’re using a fly rod, there is an art to reeling in the fish which includes letting the fish take line and run. If you try to fight this, the fish can snap your line or rod. Luckily, our friend Paul talked me through landing this guy, which involved key tips such as:

  • Keep the rod tip up.
  • If the fish wants to run, let ’em.
  • Keep tension on the line – when the fish slacks, reel him in.
  • Always keep him moving towards shore. He’ll try to run towards deeper water in the center of the river. Don’t let him.
There! Now you too, with the help of a drift-boat, advice from Marge at the fly shop (she advised rusty scuds and egg-sucking leeches) you too can land a beautiful rainbow trout. Just make sure to put it back – Grey Reef is catch and release!
Tip-of-the-Day: Go with a guide and catch more fish. They’re expert rowers and know all the seams where the fish hang out. The North Platte River Fly Shop can hook you up (he he).



2 Responses to “I Caught a Fish!”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Nice pun! As for fishing in what appears to be very cold weather—ugh. I like “fishing” that involves me in a boat with a book and a rod somewhere near-by likely improperly set up and with no hope of harming a living being. With lots of sun…btw its been like 85 in Chicago for a week. IN MARCH! (I think its cooling off by the time you arrive though—sorry)

  2. Aunt Kay Brand says:

    I really love reading your stuff Michelle.

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