I got this story from Andy Mitchell in Patagonia Dealer Services (Reno, NV) and it struck me as a great example of a vital ingredient in maintaining the health of the activity we call fishing. I read articles about fishing participation being down. Many in the industry ask, how can we foster new participation? My view, it’s right here in this story. We need to make sure that our local spots are healthy. These local spots are where all of us, including the budding 14 yr. old angler got and/or get hooked on fishing. The local waters are where we bust out for an evening stint to test a new pattern, line, rod or reel. It’s where we polish our techniques. It’s where we observe the things that teach us lessons, like how a heron or egret patiently “fishes” or how stoneflies crawl out onto rocky platforms to shuck their exoskeleton for wings. I applaud those that invest effort in making their local waters viable ecosystems and I applaud those that work with the novice angler. It’s not all about the 185lb tarpon or the searing run of a Christmas Island bone. It’s really about the "BEHEMOTH" that lives under your local waterway bridge. That’s where we get “obsessed”.
Here’s Andy’s story:
“Hi Steve-- I wanted to fill you in on the epic trout that has been sighted here about the Reno DC lately. I haven't done much all summer accept study for a graduate school test and plan an internship with Save Our Wild Salmon. To ward off the stress and desk fluff that can accumulate with a lifestyle like that I took to "experiencing fitness" during lunch by running a quick 4-mile loop along the Truckee River. I can't cross a bridge without peaking over to spot fish. There is one footbridge about a half mile east of here that spans the Truckee right above where a tributary enters and it is usually pretty easy to spot trout wiggling around in the current. Last month I looked over the edge and saw a BEHEMOTH calmly pointing upstream swishing his mighty tail to the rhythm. I almost swallowed my jogging do-rag. I thought for a second it might actually be a carp but I climbed up on the railing of the bridge to get a better look. When he banked hard left I a saw the silver/pink glint-- a monster ‘Bow.
I spread the word-- people confirmed the sighting, some called me a liar, others claimed they saw different and bigger fish-- but spotting that big daddy became bit of an obsession, so much so that I finally got the camera out and made my way down there daily to try to spot him. So here is a picture of the bridgewhere the mythic beast of the Truckee lives. I’ll let you know if anyone gets him on the line.”
Contribution by Andy Mitchell
Photos by Greg Ponte and Andy Mitchell