Thursday, May 2, 2013

Asterisk Fisheries

There are certain places where 20-inch trout do not impress. Not many, but they're out there. For some advanced anglers, they're the only thing maintaining their interest in the sport. I, for one, am always looking them.

Most are secret – some more than others. Sometimes you find that a fishery is not as secret as you thought, but no one talks about it so it only seems unknown. You could reveal to an in-the-know angler that you know, only to receive a blank stare and and a shrug. You're pretty sure he/she knows, but he/she doesn't seem to so you shut up. So the cycle goes...

An example. And another. And another.

A big fish from these fisheries always gets an asterisk, in my diary. It's cool, it's fun, but it's not the accomplishment it'd be from standard-biomass water. You have to add that caveat when showing photos if you believe in honesty, which few do. Incidentally, the monster cutthroat and behemoth brown sometimes in my blog header – both asterisk fish.

One more. Two more.

But be careful – such trouteries can ruin a fledging angler. After a day of catching 20-plus-inchers, 12-inch trout from the Gallatin or Bitterroot can be downright lame. Think of playing Chutes and Ladders after you've played Mortal Combat.

And there’s danger in going back, and back, and back... more folks are likely to see you, or find clues as to where you’ve been. It’s best to go once a year, to keep it special, to the let the river breathe, and to keep the fish healthy and catchable.

 Montana is the ideal place for seeking such fisheries, with access to zillions of cubic feet of water...
Who says the fishing ain't what it used to be?

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