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Ronan's report

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

As an experienced angler living in a state with dwindling steelhead and salmon runs, itís pretty easy to fall into the trap and settle for an average day out that consists of hooking one fish or not catching anything for several or a dozen hours. Itís easy to convince yourself that you are in it just to be out there, and for the mental challenge of fishing through hours, days, weeks, or even months without a hookup, because when it does happen, itís so glorious that it makes the down time and massive commitment in hours, dollars, and relationships all worth it.

Weíre in it for the big pull.

Well, I think there is a reason why we also need places to fish where the water is full of fish that are willing to grab a well presented fly. A place you can go and actually CATCH fish. I can actually think of a lot of reasons for it, but the one on my mind has to do with the next generation of anglers.

I was at a party this past weekend at a friendís place. He happens to have a nice little pond out in the back yard that he keeps stocked with rainbow trout - not trophies, most of them, but plenty of 10, and 12, and a few 14 inchers. It might not be a destination type fishery for a guy who has landed huge wild steelhead, sea run browns, and marlin on fly, but if you are a 4, 5 or 6 year old kid, and there happens to be a few adults in the crowd who might be reformed fly fishing guides, itís about as good a fishing destination as there is. We had a blast casting out a little nymph, then handing over the rod and coaching the kiddos on how to retrieve, and how to know when they had a grab. There were lots of missed hooksets, but there was always another trout ready to pick up the fly. A couple of fish even managed to get hooked, landed, and released. The kiddos were grinning from ear to ear, all waiting patiently for their next turn. My friend Lil and I even invented a new technique, where I would cast out and hold the rod in one hand while she used both her tiny hands to retrieve the line. The slow and easy two-handed retrieve of a very small person was even deadlier than my best hand-twist retrieve. It was the most fun fishing Iíve had in a long time.

Because letís face it, there isnít a kid out there who is going to get stoked about fishing if it means wading deep, casting long, for hours in the cold rain, without a single nibble.

When you start out in fishing, itís the little pull that counts.

Take Care and Fish On,

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