Aug 29 2020

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Big Water or Small?

Posted at 10:39 am under Blog Post

Several times during the past month, I have gone into the mountains to fish small streams for wild trout. That’s what I usually do whenever I pull out my fly rod. But yesterday I did something different – something I haven’t done in years. I stayed in the lowlands and plied the relatively big water of the Missisquoi River instead, up near the Canadian border.

Shortly after leaving the muddy bank and wet wading into the murky waters of the slow-moving river, I hooked into a brown trout. An Adams fly did the trick. Then I tangled with the trout’s wily kin, missing most of them. Caught and landed another brown before too long, then watched daylight give way to twilight while being outsmarted by the rest. Good fun. But I must admit that I felt a little out of my element.

Yeah, yeah, I know how to read the river, match the hatch, and do that 10/2 cast made famous by A River Runs Through It. But that’s not my style. Not really. I’m more of a crawl-through-the-rocks kind of guy, more accustomed to crouching low and side-casting, usually on my knees, into a pool of clear, cold water only ten or fifteen feet away. Pagan fishing, I call it, because fishing for brookies in mountain streams is all about stalking the trout, immersing oneself in the surrounding forest and going a little wild in the process.

Unlike most fishermen, I prefer small water to big water. I prefer the diminutive brook trout to the larger brown or rainbow trout. That said, it sure is a lot of fun to work a foot-long fighter to the riverbank. A brookie will fight like hell, but they are usually not more than 8 or 9 inches, so my rod never bends over much.

So there it is. Soon I’ll go a-fishing again, returning to my natural habitat up in the heavily forested mountains, scrambling over rocks on a clear, fast-moving stream. But when the urge to play with the big guys strikes, I’ll be back on the wide river. It’s all a matter of priorities, I suppose.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Big Water or Small?”

  1. Drew B.on 18 Sep 2020 at 2:54 pm 1

    Walt, I remember a couple of backing trips we took, at least one in which you fished a beaver pond and caught some small brookies. We skewered them on a stick, then cooked them over an open fire. Good times.

  2. Walton 18 Sep 2020 at 7:08 pm 2

    Yes it was.

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