Fly Fishing: What We Love Part 1

By Amos Sharp

I think it’s fair to say that I’m a self proclaimed “trout bum”. From small pockets of high country water, to the variety of rivers running through Utah, trout have undoubtedly planted a seed of passion for fly fishing in my life. The more I fish, the more I learn about each individual species of fish along with their habits and history, and the more I fall in love with fly fishing as a whole.

Getting to know the different species of trout here in my home state, and then hiking into deep country hoping to find them, has brought a new sense of adventure to the sport of fly fishing for me. I want to share with you my favorite fish to catch, as well some of my favorite lady anglers.

These wonderful anglers shared their thoughts below:

Madison Hyde @madison.hyde

My favorite fish is the one that motivates me to get out on the water, to make that last cast, to put in the extra work so that just maybe it will end up on the end of my line. It’s the fish that haunts me on a day to day basis, that makes days at work and school that much longer. I would have to say my favorite fish is the one I haven’t caught yet, the elusive trout that remains in the river waiting for our paths to cross.
There is something special about a steelhead. The distance they travel with all obstacles that come in their way, yet they persevere through all that so they are able to make it to their waters to spawn. To have a steelhead on the end of my line is something that provides me with the adrenaline rush of being on a roller coaster. They put on a beautiful show, while packing some serious muscle behind their run and then once you bring them in and have the opportunity to bask in its beauty, to think of all they must have gone through, and yet they ended up in your hands. Not only is it an incredible fish, it also provides an example of perseverance that one can only hope to have.
Amos Sharp-Nelson @amossharp
I recently caught my first tiger trout, an elusive desire I’ve had since I started fly fishing. The joy I felt that day as I realized it had finally come true was equally overwhelming as it was satisfying. The tiger put up a good fight, one reminiscent of a rainbow or cutthroat, but once he was in the net he became very docile and relaxed. I was in awe of how calm he was. As I held him to document photographs, he never once squirmed or try to escape my grasp.
As an artist, the markings and design of a tiger trout are what created that initial draw to finding one. Since making that personal connection, and holding one in my hands, I have to say I love not only the visual beauty of the tiger, but also it’s demeanor and peaceful spirit. I’m looking forward to many more tiger trout encounters over time.Kaitlin Boyer @pixiek8

There is something extraordinary about catching brown trout. Unlike rainbows, which tend to display their bodies and acrobatics immediately after the hook is set, then run, fight long and hard; browns tend to be a bit more mysterious. Their coy behavior invites the angler to be extremely curious about what’s on the end of their line, which can be really exhilarating. Though browns will fight hard like a rainbow trout, they stay deep down in the water until complete exhaustion. This approach, to me, shows great intellect. The moment when the brown begins to submit, and their yellow body is revealed near the water’s surface, my heart races with joy. The character of a brown isn’t their only great attribute. With a primary color of golden yellow, the brown trout is adorned with a variety of spots ranging from blue, red, black and brown. Taking a brown out of the net is like holding a crown of precious jewels. Releasing it feels like saying goodbye to an old friend. Their humble energy moves through you like a warm embrace. I’m not sure if my love for catching browns will ever subside. Until then, every time I set the hook, I am anticipating a buttery brown.

Jesika Fry @tx.flygirl

(Photo Credit: Josh Smitherman) Though all species are fascinating, I’ve got to say my favorite species to catch on the fly is a largemouth bass. Luckily, because I live in the great state of Texas, I am able to catch this fish any day of the year! What makes me love a largemouth bass is the way that they attack your fly. When a bass takes your fly, they are not just trying “injure” it. Bass are out to fight. Because of this, the take is violent and I just love that. Not only is the take good, but the fight they put up is phenomenal! A largemouth is a hefty fish and I would be happy catching that fish every day.

Follow the link here for Part 2 of this article