Friday, August 30, 2013

Slimy bulldogs

Though often not apparent, there are myriad chubs and suckers in Montana's trout streams. Float the middle stretch of the Bitterroot sometime and look over the bow at all the big, ugly fish fleeing. They are good for the rivers' health (Missoula outfitter Joe Cummings calls them the bison of the Bitterroot), and have every right to inhabit these rivers. I cringe at the thought of some anglers tossing them on the bank.
They're not pretty, and maybe that's why they disappoint most anglers. I find them to be a nice change of pace, but I don't fish for aesthetics. And these gross fish can fight like bulldogs.

Carp don't really fit this mold despite their homeliness, because fly fishing for carp has become a wildly popular activity. Fly anglers respect carp, but not their slimy, down-mouthed brethren. I'm talking about the unknown suckers and chubs.
I say it's time to love all fishes, pretty and ugly. Judge them not based on their appearance, but on their value as sport fish.

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