August 21, 2020
I have mentioned how Melissa and I compete to see who can catch the smallest fish. Several days ago, I pulled in the lunker pictured today. The fish that previously held the record was a minnow. It was slender and about two inches long. The current record holder is a bluegill. While it might have weighed more, it was only an inch and a quarter. I caught both records in the same lake. This lake also stocks trout during the winter months, although the stocked fish do not seem to stay around long.
When I went out to the one of the state stocking sites, I learned why they are soon depleted. Most trout do not survive past one week of being stocked. Soon after stocking they are being caught. Trout do not seem to move far from their stocking location, but since the lake itself is small, they do migrate around the water. Another reason is the high numbers of anglers who fish when they hear of a stock. The longer a fish can survive and adapt to its new surroundings, the more likely they can evade the influx of anglers. Most do not have enough time to find out.
It is interesting that I caught my two “record” fish in different ways. The minnow was landed on a #16 elk hair fly. I had just returned my catch back to the water and tossed my line in preparing to cast. I stopped for a moment and said something to Melissa, and when I raised the line, there was the minnow. The bluegill was caught on a #10 hook baited with a worm. Baited may be an exaggeration. A bite had stripped all but the tiniest amount of worm and I dropped my line to get another worm to bait. When I picked up the pole my fish was on. At least I did not have to fight either fish for long.
THOUGHTS: One of the largest trout I ever caught was on the Dream Stream in Colorado. I caught it the same way I caught both of my “tiny” records. My son Alex had been working a hole he knew held a big fish but finally gave up. Then I cast my fly and stopped to readjust my line. That is when the fish struck. It makes me ponder if I am a better fisherperson when I am not trying to fish? Sometimes we try so hard to get it “right” that we become immobilized with inaction. This seems to be what could happen with both our current emergencies. Rather than waiting to get it right, we need to act to correct the wrong. Change is coming and it starts with you.