Jerry Kustich shook his head and said:“Man-o-man, there are some beautiful fish in here.” Kustich, a bamboo-rod builder and co-owner of Sweetgrass Rods in Twin Bridges, Montana, had just released a 22½-inch brown trout into frothing waves. Kustich and I had been planning for several
Mature brown trout run to spawning areas each fall. And you can catch these fall-run browns weeks earlier than most anglers think—sometimes months earlier. I told my clients this as we walked down a steep hill toward some of the better water on Nameless River in Wyoming (you didn’t think
Whenever folks ask me where I live, I adopt my best body-builder pose, arm curled tight, and point just below my wrist on the inside of my forearm. My anatomical reference is to Wellfleet, on outer Cape Cod. Everyone laughs, but the biggest cackles come from Michiganders because they know what it's like to chart geography on a body part. (Michigan is known as the Mitten because of its resemblance to the hand shoe.) But, then again, they may just find humor in the fact that I need to hit the gym and grunt out a few hundred more bicep curls.But no gym time for me now because it's fall on the Cape and that's fishing time. Vacation crowds leave in droves around Labor Day, and we anglers have the entire sandbar to ourselves. There are few vehicles waiting at red lights and beach parking lots are virtually empty (and non-permit parking is generally allowed). Vehicles with bike racks disappear and are replaced by rigs with rod racks. By Columbus Day, the restaurants are closed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get a cup of coffee or some junk food to chow on in between midnight fishing trips.
Winner of the 2008 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award. Michael Doherty is a fly-fisher and a doctor who lives in Seattle. This is his first published work of fiction. His entry was selected as the best of 2008 from a record number of Traver Award submissions. We congratulate Michael on his achievement.
The 2008 Robert Traver Fly-Fishing Writing Award 2nd Place Story:
"Last summer I invited death to go fishing on the Weber River. On the way there we listened to Morning Edition on NPR. The stories were sadly familiar: A suicide bomber killed himself and 40 other men, women and children in a market in Baghdad; two American soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb that had been stuffed into the chest of a dead dog; the body of a missing college girl was found inside her car in a river near her home town."
Fly-tier Matt Minch, of Gardiner, Montana, is locally known for his profoundly effective nymphs. Matt likes to spend more time fishing than tying, so his flies are easy to tie, impressionistic and durable. They are especially effective in early fall, when nymphing deep slots for the first runner browns. They have proven themselves all over the world, from New Zealand's South Island to the American Midwest.
I enjoyed reading about my old home waters. I lived within 50 miles of Glacier National Park for 27 years.