Written by: 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.
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.