And this is how it began, you can say that I got the bug back in October of 2010 when on a Pheasant hunting trip in Colorado the weather heated up in the afternoon and the evening hunt was cancelled. To fill the rest of the day they offered a choice of trap shooting, horse back riding, mountain biking, or fly fishing. Being a diehard fisherman you would be correct if you said that I chose the fly fishing for the rest of the day.
We loaded up and drove to one of the streams on the ranch property and since my fly fishing skills consisted of me using a spinning rod with a fly reel when I was younger as the only time to fly fish in my life. That’s not to say that I didn’t catch fish on this setup but it just wasn’t the true nature of fly fishing. After a short lesson on casting I picked out a bend in the creek that had some grass growing along the edge of the bank. Casting a dry fly to the edge of the grass and consistently catching Rainbow, Brown, and Brook trout I began feeling pretty good about my success until asked by the guide if any Cutthroat trout had been caught yet. I was then informed that there were four species of trout resided in this area of the state and I was lacking one from catching a grand slam. Did I mention that I like challenges…… it didn’t take long for me to cancel the next two days of Pheasant hunting in exchange for the pursuit of this Grand Slam of trout fishing. The rules were, you had to catch one of each species all in the same day. Then they informed me that it had only been done eleven times there and that the Cutthroat trout was the hardest species to catch because they did not have that many of them in their area.
The next morning started out with an awesome breakfast then we headed out to the start the quest in the same area that was fished the day before. It wasn’t long before the fly found its way into the mouth of a hungry Rainbow, after a battle a picture was taken and the fish was released back into the stream. One down and three to go. Before lunch I saw a nice Brown roaming the edges of the grass, after many casts with the topwater fly with no success it was decided to give it a try with a nymph that would drift about a foot behind the dry fly and be under the water to offer an option. Soon after a nice Brown trout was being led to the net where a picture was taken then put it back in the water to fight again some day. It was decided that we would start the hunt for the Cutthroat trout which seemed to be few and far between. They are there, I had seen them cruising the shallows for two days and thrown everything that the guide could think of at them, no wonder why this was so hard to accomplish. I spent the next few hours moving all around the property trying to get one to accept my offering then it happened. As I was throwing to an object that I could see hanging out under some matted grass I must have made it mad on cast number twenty that the object moved from the grass and started coming straight at me. With the guide trying not to scream that it was a very big Cutthroat the fish saw me and spooked back towards where it came from, before it could get there I lay a cast right on the lip of the grass and as the fish approached I gently twitched the rod and made the fly fall from the grass into the water just as it got there. With the slightest ripple the fly had vanished as I lifted the rod to set the hook the fight was on. At this time I really couldn’t tell who was more excited, me or the guide as he rushed into the water to net the fish. I found out that this was to be his first slam as a guide but I reminded him that we were not done. You see in all of the excitement he forgot that I still hadn’t caught a Brook trout on the day and with fifteen minutes left the slam was not complete. I hope his boss neve reads this due to the fact of how fast we drove to a different section that has plenty of Brook trout in the area and the obstacles that were driven over to get there in time. I think the cast was made in one motion as I jumped from the truck and the Brook was caught on that cast and the Grand Slam had been completed.
If you have read through all of this you will now understand why I have this new obsession with attacking the areas that I fish with a fly rod. So, if you have advice for me on everything from what kind of flies to use on everything from bass fishing to inshore saltwater fishing I welcome them. I will also need advice on the proper line and leaders as well as what type of knots to use to put it all together.
Thanks for going along on the journey,