June 2012

Last Fall I did two things that I’ve been meaning to write about.

First, I read the book Shin Deep: A Fly Fisher’s Love For Moving Water by Chris Hunt.

Second, I spent a day fishing with Chris, also of Eat More Brook Trout. Along with Michael Bantam of DreamCast Idaho and Emily of The River Damsel.

About Chris, in a way, it was good that I read Shin Deep before I actually fished with him because I felt somewhat prepared for the kind of fisherman he might be based on his writing.

In other words, after I read his book I had a good feeling that Chris was one of ‘my kind of people’ rather than one of ‘those kind of people’ and that provided a sense of relief to someone like me: A person who is self taught, can’t name half the flies in my box or what type of cast I’m flinging about.

Chris & I

After coordinating with Chris, Michael and Emily, the lot of us met up on a certain river for a day of brown trout chasing.

The fishing went as all fishing should go.

Brown Trout FIshing

Chris with a respectable brown trout

Fish were rising, we were casting to them, sometime’s we’d hook up, sometimes we wouldn’t.

Chris, Michael and I pretty much stayed within a shouting distance of each other all day. At one point, Michael and I had a double hook up which in my book dictated a photo opportunity. Sadly (for Chris anyway) it happened at a time when Chris had decided it was time to check out the local plant life on the other side of the river.

My excitement and shouting for him showed no mercy. Double fish hook up trumps private time in the bushes….

Brown trout and rainbow

Michael and I : Brown Trout and Rainbow

That wasn’t the only time my shouting came into play that day. In one particularly frustrating moment (for me) I had engaged in a bit of a showdown with several rising, rolling and teasing browns that ultimately got the best of me.

With Michael by my side as witness and Chris downstream about 20 yards, I cast over and over to a certain seam that produced an impressive attack at my hopper with each cast. Half the time I was missing the fish, the other half of the time I broke off with each hook set.

brown troutI believe it was on try #8 when my hopper hit water, another brown attacked.

I hook set, missed again and without a pre-warning to those around me — Michael, Chris, local wildlife — I let out a roaring and most un-ladylike  ”Moooothhhheeerrr Chhuuucckkkerrrrr” (or something like that) curse.

Silence was instantaneous between the three of us as the canyon walls kindly repeated my outburst, for emphasis.

I looked at Michael, I looked down at Chris, both of their jaws had dropped, each of their mouth’s forming a prominent 0

I really can’t remember who spoke first, but I do know I heard a lot of “Whoaaaas” & “Wows” & “Rebecca!!” along with a lot of laughter. Considering it was the first time I had fly fished with either of them, I had to decide if I should 1) die of embarrasment and slink off into the bushes never to be seen again or 2) chalk that moment up to, leaving a lasting impression

I opted for #2 and proceeded to have a fabulous rest of the day getting teased over my meltdown.

The Three of Us

Back to the book Shin Deep.

It’s real, it’s down to earth and I can tell you from personal experience, what you read in the book is what you get in person. Chris captures regular and extraordinary days on the river through his writing. If you find yourself stuck at home, all you have to do is pick up his book, read one of the chapters and you’ll still get your fly fishing fix for the day…

I highly recommend it.