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Home / Fishing / Articles



So You Want To Be A Fisherman

By Stan Moore

We all have visions of what it takes to be an adventurer and outdoorsman. Well, bare with me, as I tell you how you may someday catch all the trout you want and brave the outdoor life without getting into trouble as those Hollywood chaps would have you believe. First of all this is not a comedy and it is not a farce. This story is a compilation of my thirty eight years of fishing experience. I have been an outdoorsman all my life, except for the last five, which I regret, because I love to fish, hunt, and camp in the wild places of America.

It all starts on an uneventful day in the winter months. I have these fantasies of a great granddaddy of a Rainbow as it grabs my bait on the other end of a

line which is floating down to a swirl of water in front of the Rainbow's mouth. The trout is naturally swimming with its head upstream waiting for any morsel that may happen along into its unsuspecting jaws. This is the way of all fish except those in the lakes and oceans which I will not speculate on in this writing, because these fish have different habits and are much slower to feed than the trout. These trout are the ones in the thousands of streams throughout the United States and the world. These same trout are the ones which seem to be the hardest to catch and the most ferocious when they attack your bait.

The reason these trout are so ferocious is the fact that they are in a cold stream and their body temperature has a great deal to do with their activity and feeding habits. Their body temperature is controlled by their surroundings and if the temperature of the water is colder the fish are more aggressive. That is why I like to go fishing in the early spring when the snow melt is just beginning. But just beware, because if you don't time it just right you may end up not fishing at all, because the trout may seem to disappear when the big spring runoff begins. If this happens you will have to wait until the water's raging flow has subsided and small eddies and pools are formed again. Well, if you really want to catch fish, you may want to go to the lakes where the rivers and streams are just entering the lake, but my best place in this case is across the lake from there. Why? Well, I have to honestly say the trout are caught in the onrush of the spring runoff and are carried there. Even though some of you may not believe me, but I have caught a dozen two pound trout this way all in one day! If you don't believe me, now, you have never experienced the thrill of a big catch of trout. Another thing, I should mention, and that is about the fancy new lures and gadgets the manufactures supposedly say are real trout killers. Well, you are not a fisherman if you have not tried some of these. Even though most of them are a bunch of junk which should be used for designing the statue of a foolhardy fisherman. If you really want to catch trout, I know I'm going to be backlashed, for this statement by the industries that make them, but enough is enough! As I was saying, you don't need nothing to catch a trout, except a little line a hook and a worm! The bait that will catch any trout and this is guarantied. Whether you believe it or not. This is all you need, except to know where the trout are. This is the tricky part and I can not tell you all my secrets or there will not be any trout in America for me to catch, but I will tell you a few fishing stories, now, and maybe you can catch some of my pointers hidden away within the text.

It all started, like I said, in the winter. While I dreamed of this monster trout and maybe its brother. I usually catch at least two trout in the same hole, even though there may not seem to be that many. The water is a tricky subject in its own rights. I was fishing along a stretch of creek in the Bighorn Mountains, one day, when I came to a cliff looming in front of me. The shadow of the cliff was cast over the stream and I could not see the eddies and pool that was formed until I had passed them. I stopped in my tracks and backed up. As I did so, I crouched low so the trout, if it did see me, would think I had disappeared. I was almost on my knees and then I was on my knees as I baited my hook with a juicy nightcrawler. I had a couple of hours of daylight left and had only caught a couple of trout since noon. Well, let me tell you, I was not to go home with an empty creel that day! I put my bait on a single hook and then put a small sinker on my line about two feet above the hook, sometimes three. I then cast my line about five feet out in front of me and let the bait, line, and sinker float down into the pool that was formed against the cliff. I let my line dangle on my finger as I lowered the pole to let the weight of the sinker take the line under the pool. I felt a nibble! The second time, I gave the pole a slight jerk back with my wrist and the fish was hooked! With all the commotion the trout made, you would have thought I was
fighting a Marlin! I didn't have to move for another hour as I caught my limit which was ten trout! I was a happy fisherman as I went back to camp with a creel full of fish. My buddies had managed to catch a couple. I showed them the hole the next day and they began to fish in it! I told them that trout can smell man's presence and there would not be any trout there for at least another month. They could not believe me! They thought I was making up this nonsense. I told them to suit themselves, but the fishing would be better if we walked further upstream. It doesn't matter which way you walk when it comes to catching trout. I was just pulling their leg. What did matter, was when you approached a hole, you should be upstream from the trout, because the bait if flowing naturally will tend to travel down stream, unless it is swimming. At any rate, I was having fun, doing what I liked and enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

My next experience was one of catching the trout where no man wants to go, into rugged terrain. I was walking toward this place, now, with a couple of fishing companions, whom thought fishing was an easy experience. We listened to the quietness of the surrounding woods and the chatter of the various birds and squirrels and ground chucks as we passed them. We climbed over rocks and around fallen logs and brush as we approached the creek. The rush of water could be heard down in the steep canyon as the three of us climbed even higher into the rugged wilderness of the Bighorns. The stream was located just off the main highway and passed under that same highway, but was almost impossible to see from the road except when the spring runoff reached its peak. This was late spring, and early summer as we came over a rise and saw the small river down in the canyon. I have never been to the top, except when I was fishing on the lake above, where this creek was flowing from. We made our way down to the stream and saw many pools and were excited at the prospect of bagging our limit of trout. My friends decided they have had enough climbing and went on down stream. Which goes to prove, they were simply not interested in catching trout. I walked further upstream, until I came to a huge dam which was formed by several trees fallen in a previous flood. There is where I made my catch of a lifetime, just about every year. I baited my hook and secured my lead weighted sinker, this time two, because of the swiftness of the current down stream and because of the depth of the dam. I waited patiently and was rewarded with my first strike of the day! A huge trout had bitten my bait with the ferociousness of a shark! I played him by not letting the line become slack and what a spectacular sight he was when he jumped out of the pristine waters. His rainbow of colors shone in the late afternoon sun and made my mouth water as I set my hook deeper by giving a little tug on the line. Not too much, mind you, for that would have been disastrous. I, as a fisherman, losing this prize would be humiliating. Not that anybody would know, but I would, and I was the one who counted, here, in this land where I was truly alone. My nearest companions were no where to be seen, but I still wanted to show mother nature that I was a good fisherman. I caught four more from that hole and wondered where my companions were. I have always caught at least five two to one and a half pound Rainbows from that hole. I keep dreaming of that wilderness, even now, and hope someday to return where luck and chance will play out its drama on the mountain.

As I walked down the canyon and witnessed the rebirth of spring, the night sky was upon me before I reached the bottom of the rocky canyon. I decided to spend the night on the mountain instead of chancing my fragile body among the huge boulders and downfallen trees of the canyon. I built a small fire and went the side of the creek where I cleaned my fish and set them in a cool pool, except one which I took back to camp with me. Along the way, I cut a green bough from a willow with my pocket knife, which no outdoorsman should be without. As I made a fire and placed the fish on the willow, I roasted it over the coals of the fire I had previously made with plenty of matches. I enjoyed myself as I ate my supper and fell asleep under my coat and the stars.

In all my life spent in the great outdoors, these are among my favorite fishing holes and ways to catch trout. If you happen to come across a valley which has multitudes of mosquitoes, please, do not continue or go back. This is my gift to you as this valley contains more trout than you will ever find in your fishing experience. You have found what I term as a treasure chest of untold wealth, if you are a fisherman!

Good Luck.


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