Classic Photo Essay: Maturing as an Angler

Written by: Hannah Perkins

Hannah Perkins with a gorgeous spring creek cutthroat.
Photo courtesy Hannah Perkins

When I first started fishing without anyone to tie on my flies or anyone showing me where to cast and when to mend, my mission was to just catch one fish on my own. Any fish would do. When that became a reality, fishing became a numbers game: it was about catching a lot of fish, the more the merrier. Later, after growing almost bored with quantity and wanting to see the numbers in inches, it was all about the size. Having a huge fish on the end of my line, the adrenaline running through my veins with the fear of this fish becoming just another fish story was what drove me to the river. I usually would prefer fishing out of a boat, covering a larger piece of water, without any trees blocking my back cast.

Chris Budro searches for just the right pattern on a small stream.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

My relationship with fishing is changing. It’s no longer about the numbers—quantity or inches (although don’t get me wrong, I do love both)—and it’s not about covering miles of river anymore. My appreciation for wade fishing has grown to a romantic level: hiking into mountain creeks with sexy pools and beautiful runs, with some of the most stunning fish that look like their colors have been saturated by the combination of cool mountain water and sunshine. The size of the fish becomes more relevant to the size of the stream. The technical nature of the casting can still be frustrating at times, but the reward seems larger than ever when I’m successful. The epic scenery and water hold more weight these days. It’s becoming more about the whole experience and less about the fish.

Hannah finds herself focused on her surroundings more as she grow as an angler.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

Idaho’s Bitch Creek produced this beautifull cutty.
Photo courtesy Hannah Perkins

Wade-fishing in an Idaho canyon, Chris landed another great cutthroat.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

Orvis vice chairman Dave Perkins nets a fish that ate a dry fly.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

Fields of Montana wheat provide a glorious backdrop.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

Chris and Dixie share in a moment of success.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

The Grand Tetons provide a glorious backdrop to a day on the water.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

Even smaller streams can produce big fish, in a more intimate setting.
Photo by Hannah Perkins

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