Smart Trout -vs- Dumb Trout

Which one do you like better?  I personally like the dumb ones for obvious reason.  I don't have to work hard to catch them.  Today I had a chance to meet both kind.

I've heard of this particular creek through a guide I've hired a few years back.  He told me this creek is seldom fished as it is not well known or popular amongst fishing crowd as you do need some serious off road capability vehicle to have an access .  He also informed me that the creek is inhabited by very picky and smart wild trouts.  The first time was really frustrating as I skunked out big time.  There were plenty of trouts in the creek as I saw them scattering away when I didn't keep low profile or deployed awkward casting. Humility is something this creek taught me well... Probably the reason why I don't fish this creek as much as I should.
 Today was one of those days that I felt confident enough to try this creek.  Halfway through the trip my confidence pretty much dissipated,  replaced by humility.  I had a few rise but couldn't maintain the required drift for this creek.  Toward the end of the run, I've managed to reel in two browns but boy did I have to work for them fish....

 Hendrickson was the name of the game.
 Smart fish #1

 Smart fish #2
 Hiking back to my car seemed like eternity.  I was asking myself, "how can I improve line management", "was fly selection correct?". "should I have used longer tippet?", " AHH YOU SUCK!"

When I arrived to my car, I've notice this small creek near where I parked my car, feeding into the creek I've just fished. It was a tiny little creek but it seemed so fishy for me to pass by so I rigged my rod with shorter leader and stepped into the creek.  Immediately, I see at least 5 brookies darting away to take cover.
 EUREKA!!! This creek contained the  motherload of stupid fish.  As long as you keep low profile, I could approach these fish to the point where I can literally grab them with my hand and they were hungry! Dead drift wasn't necessary as I saw them chasing my stripping fly downstream and I was able to make an eye contact while they were chasing after my fly.

 I only fished about 1/4 miles until I reached a pond feeding into the creek but must have caught well over 20 brookies.

By the time I was done with the fishing, the humility had gone away and came to realization that this is why I love stupid fish.  Someday I will be good enough to chase after only the smart ones but for now, I am very content with my stupid friends.


  1. Charles- thanks for the inspiration. Since last fall, this period must be the longest I've put away my fishing rods since I started fishing. Looking back, I'm not even quite sure what it is. Maybe it was work, maybe it's getting adjusted to the new environment I'm living in, maybe it was just simple laziness. I'm slowly finding my way back and the posts from friends is guiding me there. Thanks guys.

  2. Launching a new company and dealing with the relocated family cannot be an easy thing... I'm glad that my posts can help you deal with the urge...hang in there brother.

  3. I read that the stages of a fisherman are: Want to catch just any trout, then want to catch the biggest trout, then want to catch the smartest trout. That's why people from all over the world go to fish the firehole river, becasue the fish are small but really smart. I personally after fishing for about 15 years have never moved past stage one. I vote for stupid trout.

  4. coming out: some people (like me) stay in stage 1 permanently (and happily). In fact I am more happy when it's a trout but generally happy when it's a fish. I know where my friends are in terms of mental state (fine fly fishermen) but I trust my friends to like me with all my faults. The only reason I stay away from live bait is because it's a pain in the ass to go buy bait each time. If I had a tank full of minnows, I'd use them often. It's kind of like me loving greasy diner food once in a while, it ain't sexy but it sure is satisfying. So if you see me busy trying to catch a live grasshopper when we're out, you now know why.

  5. flock of birds stick you guys!

  6. I'll take stupid trout any day! Thanks for sharing, looks like you had an awesome day.