Several years ago I lost Robert to his pursuit of big fish. Leisure trips to the local river flyfishing for a standard 12 inch trout no longer impressed him. Although my arms have felt the difference between hauling in a 9 foot sturgeon (pain and torture, oh joy) to a 40 inch salmon (fantastic fight) and a 12 inch trout (always enjoyable) my mind has yet to draw a line in the size sand. In my world, a fish is a fish, no matter the size and any fish is an opportunity to go fishing, so lets just go and catch some damn fish no matter their magnitude. (Robert)
Because Flyfishing is always my first choice in fishing excursions, I’ll always hold a special spot in my fishing heart for Trout—all species, all colors, all sizes. Flyfishing and Trout are like the chicken and the egg. One does not exist without the other and no one really cares which came first, just so long as we have both.
I could wax poetically about the beauty and tranquility of flyfishing for little trout, but I’ll spare the masses. When it comes down to it, for me, the act of fishing, whether for big lunkers or spunky little brookies, is about getting outdoors and enjoying the challenge. I believe for Robert, it’s about the adrenilene rush when he has a 9 foot sturgeon spooling his line or when it’s the mad war zone of salmon fishing. In his world, if he hasn’t broken a sweat or his arm isn’t sore the next day, he implies it’s hardly worth the effort.
I enjoy catching a 24 inch brown trout or hooking into a huge salmon for the wild rides just as much as I enjoy catching the little guys. I call it an ‘open minded fish perspective’ of the non-size judgemental kind.
The non-judgement concept works well when I feel the need to guilt Robert into coming leisure fishing with me. He might grumble about the lack of potential size from the truck, but I’ve noticed he always comes around the second his line hits the water. Once he’s there, he’ll fish just as hard for a pan sized trout as he would for a King Salmon in Alaska. It goes a little something like this once the lines hit the water seeking dime a dozen trout:
Robert “Fish On!” Bellowed just as loud as he does when hooking into a salmon.
Rebecca “Nice one, ummm, by the way, you don’t have to set the hook so hard, flyfishing isn’t meant to be taken literally, fish aren’t supposed to fly through the air like that”
Robert “Fish on! And this one is 8 inches! Have youuuu got one this big? Huh? Have ya? THIS BIG?”
Rebecca “Nice one, almost big enough for a snack”
Robert “Fish on!!!!!! Biggest one on the river so far, 10 inches, do you have the camera?”
Rebecca “Nice one, you’re sure excited, maybe the little ones are worth your time after all.”
Robert “Just practising for steelhead season.”
I don’t buy it. I’ve watched him out there just as enthralled as I am. That’s the thing about fishing, even the little fish can humble the big guys ~
I don’t know how other people feel about fish size and worthiness of time. For now, I’m sticking with my no measure tape needed mantra.