He spent countless hours catching every fish within a 40 mile radius. But there was one fish he had never caught. He had never ventured out to the Wild West to catch one of the native cutthroat trout that lived there. This caused an emptiness deep in his soul that brought with it sleepless nights, sweaty palms, and gastrointestinal unease that would make a hyena frown. Now that he was approaching middle-age at the speed of light, he finally decided he needed to do something about this.
|The Wild West, where cutthroat trout prosper. Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org|
He finally made it far enough west that he was in cutthroat territory. He was tattered and torn from the journey, and he had just the clothes on his back, a handful of flies, and his trusty 6 wt Scott SAS fly rod to help him achieve his quest. After hours of toil, he finally put his Madam X fly right where it needed to be. The great fish came up, eyeballed the fly for what seemed like eternity, and then finally sipped it in with a delicate slurp. The man deftly set the hook with the skill of a true craftsman, and the fight was on. The fish fought mightily, but he was no match for the man's cunning and finesse. The fight was over quickly, and soon the man held the beautiful cutthroat trout in his hands. His quest was fulfilled. He could finally truly be happy. Middle age didn't look so daunting any more...
|An artist's rendering of the man's first cutthroat trout. Illustration by Joseph Tomelleri.|
That's how I remember it happening, I have always wanted to catch a cutthroat trout, and I finally did last week when we were in Yellowstone, but it might not have been quite as intriguing as I made it out to be. In reality, I just walked down to the Gardner River while the rest of my family was eating a picnic lunch, and caught my first cutthroat a few minutes after I started. It was exciting for me, but I thought I better liven it up a little when I wrote about it.