If you were to ask me what achievement have I accomplished lately, the answer would be that i've completed the Every Day In May blogger challenge. It's hard to take a topic that is given to you each day and put it into words that others might enjoy reading. To those of you that actually read them, I thank you.
A few years ago I was able to achieve something that I had no intention of doing. On a Pheasant hunt just outside of Grand Junction Colorado, the weather turned warmer than normal for a fall day and the chance to finish the day fly fishing arose. Having never fly fished before, they gave me a few casting lessons and away we went.
I held my own for the day catching some bows, brown, and brook trout. The cutthroat were there but not interested in any offerings. At dinner that night, the mention of a Trout Slam came up. In order to get it, you had to catch one of all four species of trout that were common to the area in the same day. I took them up on the challenge and viewed this as a major achievement for someone not accustomed to fly fishing.
The morning started out feeling a lot more like fall, with dew on the ground and a chill in the air. As soon as the cast landed in the slow moving stream, the fly dissapeared in a quiet sip on the surface. As the rod lifted up, the bow came flying out of the water and wore down after a struggle. The first fish was now checked off the list.
The next fish to come to the net was a very healthy Brown. I spotted it walking a trail as it rested in a pool below. With the help of the guide, I was able to direct a cast in his direction by listening to his instructions as I false casted from my knees after sneaking down the slope. Being told to stand and release the fly, I watched as it dropped over the side and the big brown rose from the depths to smack it. The fight was brutal but it came to the net as well and another fish was checked off.
After lunch, we made a move to a different section to concentrate on catching a Cutthroat. This would prove to be the hardest fish to catch. After casting a vast assortment of flies, it was decided to change up to a dry. It appeared from under a patch of matted grass at the edge of the bank. As it cruised towards me I put the fly around it cast after cast with no attention paid to it at all. Upon seeing me the Cut made a turn and headed back from where it appeared, before reaching the grass, the fly landed on top of the mat and as the fish approached I flicked the fly into the open and it dissapeared in a boil. Lifting up on the rod I could hear the guide running into the water to net the fish. The fish was lifted and a roar could be heard through the mountains as I celebrated.
In all of the excitement and determination to catch the Cut, it seem's that we forgot about a Brookie. We moved to a different section and on my first cast I was able to hook and land a Brook and achieve the slam.
It turns out that my slam was only the 12th slam in over two years. The Cutthroat are the hardest species to catch on this section and is the fish that most people never catch. Now I know why the guide was jumping up and down. It was his first as well. What an achievement for him.
|Recieving my Grand Slam pin|