Written by: Tyler Coleman
Last week, I went out with the family—my wife, Anastasia, and our two-and-a-half-month-old son, Sebastian—in search of our favorite local wild fish, brook trout. The very small creek we went to is tough to fish and can get technical, depending on the vegetation growth, but it holds some pretty decent-sized beautiful trout. So it’s worth the headache.
After a good day of catching fish, we worked our way upstream to a small, deep pool with a nice foam pocket, and I knew it had to be holding some good fish. The problem was getting the fly back into the right area through all the tree branches and bushes without a snag or beating the rod up. After a few times repositioning, I was able to get back into the right spot and instantly had a good bite but missed the set due to getting blocked by an overhanging branch. Again I repositioned to give myself some room to set for the next bite if I got one. The next couple casts didn’t go so well and resulted in some untangling from branches. I finally got my fly back in the right spot and something splashed through the foam to nail my fly right after it hit the surface. I set the hook but after another splash lost the fish. Keeping that line tension with a barbless hook while being surrounded by trees proved to be difficult.
I again had a few more tangles with the branches but did manage to get the fly where I wanted it to go in hopes the old “third time is a charm” saying would come true. Right when I was thinking that the fish had spooked, my fly disappeared and I set the hook. The fish jumped and darted up the pool, but I had this one good, and even after getting tangled up a little, I was able to keep the tension on my line enough to pull the brookie out of the water.
I was pretty proud as Anastasia prepared to take a picture of one of the biggest brook trout I had caught. It measured almost 11 inches, which is a trophy for this small stream. As she focused the camera, that fish got camera shy and flipped for the water. I was right on the edge of the creek, so with a splash he was gone. I immediately turned to my wife and asked in a panic if she had gotten the picture. She search through her phone and could only find a blurry spin of what might have been a fish and some bushes. Sigh.
We walked on to fish other pools, caught some more brookies, and then made our way back. I gave my wife a hard time about missing the photo but the more we walked the more I thought about how happy I was to have caught the fish in the first place. I think that the Internet and especially now with social media, we are so programmed to relate our happiness with the ability to click that “post” button. At the end of the day, I remembered why I love fishing so much: the thrill of your hard work paying off when you finally have the fish in your net. Sometimes you just have to unplug and find your pause.
Tyler Coleman lives in Arizona. Check him out on Instagram: @thecolemancollection.