Confessions from an Idiot Fisherman


My blogging came to a skidding halt because of the spotty Internet service where I am located, at an elevation of 8180 feet. Today was my first taste of success in the South Fork of the Rio Grande, fly fishing. On previous attempts the past couple of days, I only managed to catch a few small trout–too small to keep and eat. Finally this morning, I managed to land one large enough for the skillet. But it didn’t come easily. I’m only glad there were no witnesses.

I was fishing a dry mayfly with a bead-headed pheasant tail nymph trailing 18″ behind. The dry fly could serve either as a strike indicator, or even provide bait for a trout willing to rise. This beautiful rainbow scooped my nymph off the bottom and headed out into the current. Daily rainfall has made this stream swift, murky and rather dangerous for wading. I was already in knee-deep water, unable to see my feet underneath, and in a precarious position.

I did manage to get the trout close enough to slip a net under him. But stupid me decided not to spend money on a tether to keep the net attached to me. It slipped from my hands and began floating swiftly downstream. Thinking myself a quick thinker on my feet, I steered the trout into the floating net, like sinking a basketball through a hoop, and began pulling the trout and net toward me. But the trout slipped out of the net. Again, I steered him into the drifting net and began to pull on them both, and again, he slipped out. Finally, I managed to get my hand on the trout, and watching the net float away, I decided not to dig in my pouch for the forceps, but to remove the nymph from his upper lip by hand. Once I completed this rather quickly, I then noticed with despair that my dry fly had hung into my shirt. Now, with one hand on the trout and the rod under my armpit, I pried the fly loose from my shirt with my free hand. Tossing the fly rod toward the bank, I then began stepping and stumbling as rapidly as I could downstream to retrieve my floating net. I had to plough through about a hundred feet of stream before I reached the net, and then clumsily dropped the trout into the net like tossing a doll into a wastebasket.

Wading to shore, I drew out the stringer from the bib of my waders, attached the trout, dropped him into the water, and tied the rope of the stringer around a tree. Then I had to go upstream about a hundred feet to retrieve my flyrod. Stupid is as stupid does. Again, I’m so glad no one watched this slapstick debacle. The trout has been cleaned and is now in the refrigerator, but I’m not sure when I’m going to serve him up.

Thanks for reading.

8 Responses to “Confessions from an Idiot Fisherman”

  1. Bob Cook Says:

    Very funny- But, I guess you had to be there!


  2. Lisa Cihlar Says:

    Lol Pat McManus would
    love this story!


  3. Lisa Gordon Says:

    But this is what memories are made of! 🙂


  4. dutchroguecove Says:

    Good to hear you didn’t drown the way that story was headed!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: