Fishermen are creatures of habit. “It worked before, it will work again.”
My childhood mentor was the greatest fisherman that ever lived, Lefty Kreh! I rode my bike to the first Trout Unlimited meeting in Maryland as a kid. It was at the Hillendale Library, near where I lived. Lefty was there along with so many other fly fishing greats. I was the kid.
During one scheduled meeting, Lefty gave a presentation on How to Catch More Fish. The takeaway was to be different. He said,” If you want to catch what others catch, do what they do!” That was not my goal. I wanted to be like Lefty and catch more fish than everyone else.
While fishing the Henry’s Fork in Idaho as a kid, I put Lefty’s lesson to the test. When I waded into the river, lots of “snobby” fly fishermen gave me a dirty look. I waded to the opposite bank and saw several monster trout feeding away. The “Snobs” were using tiny flies, 20-foot leaders, and their traditional flies without much luck, so I went big. Using Lefty’s advice, I tied on a huge #4 Joe’s hopper. My cast against the bank landed the monstrosity with a loud plop. Wham, I was into a huge rainbow and it was time to net the 20 plus inch trout. This trick worked several more times. Of course, as an excited kid, I was whooping and hollering.
The next thing I hear is “Sonny, I’m a Game Warden, can I see your gear and license?” Apparently the “Snobs” thought I was using bait and cheating. How could a young punk kid catch more trout while they were getting “skunked”?
I told the Warden about Lefty’s advice and pointed out a rising rainbow for him to catch. With my rod in hand, the Warden made a perfect cast. We were both whooping and hollering as I netted a huge rainbow for the Warden.
He told me to have fun and shook my hand. Who knows what the Warden said to the “Snobs”, but it probably started with “maybe you need to do something different!”
Fish for Fun!
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.