I’ve grown up fishing in saltwater all of my life. My preferred fishing styles, in order, are the following:
- Trolling – Dragging dead bait, live bait, or lures through deep oceans, waiting for an exhilarating strike from a big fish.
- Surf Fishing – Setting out live bait or dead bait in the salty surf, hanging out on the beach while waiting for drum to swim throug.
- Casting – I don’t mind working up and down the marsh creeks in search of flounder, drum, and trout, though it’s my least favorite style. It’s constant motion, and I like to sit back and relax while fishing.
When I was invited to head out west for a fly fishing trip in Yellowstone, I was hesitant because I didn’t know how to fly fish, and it seemed to squarely fit into my least favorite category off fishing. On top of that, I have decades of knowledge about catching fish in salt water, but I’ve never spent much time on fresh water, and especially not on mountain rivers and streams. I said yes to the trip, mainly because my first instinct was to say no.
In preparation for the trip to Yellowstone, my friend and I arranged a trip for me to learn basic lessons and techniques on streams in the Appalachian mountains on the border with North Carolina and Tennessee. We fished the tail waters of a small river, catching some small rainbow trout. And we fished private waters, which I view as the equivalent to a golf driving range. The river was stocked with hundreds of large fish, and it gave me a lot of chances to practice casting, feeling and seeing the bite, setting the barbless hook, and retrieving the fish.
All in all, the experience was great fun. Fly fishing in mountain streams is a distinct activity, hardly comparable to fishing in coastal salt waters. Unlikely I’ll become an avid fly fisherman, but a trip or two a year will be fun.