I know that I love to get out and fish in any style that I can. Many times I feel that the body of water doesn’t really matter much. I am happy to be on a lake or, God forbid, a reservoir. Recently though, someone asked me what it is about a river that makes me return to them more than I do a stillwater body.
I have to admit that up to that point I had never truly considered what it was that took me back to the river every time. So I have been pondering the reasons I fish rivers more than stillwaters. It has taken me some time to come up with the key factors in some semblance of order. But even with the ability to edit this post I really think it is just best to put them here for you to read and order in your own way.
So here goes with my best attempt at the reasons I fish the rivers here in Colorado and anywhere else that trout can be found for that matter.
One of the reasons I love to be on the river is that there is an unspoken camaraderie between fly fishermen and a mutual respect that does not always exist in the bait slingin’ world when open water is at a premium.You may be asking what I mean by this so let me explain as best I can.
When I walk along a river looking for a hole or even a gorgeous glide, I will give a wide berth to a person who is in a fishy looking spot if they are already in the water in the spot I was thinking of hitting. If I am walking with a friend I will even lower my voice until I am well past the individual. They may turn to see who is behind them and I will just give them a silent nod or wave.
What I sometimes see in the bait slingin’ world, not so much the competition world but in the public domain, is that I have watched boats stack up in a very small area if the fishing is “hot”. And when that happens, the real fun begins like turf or water wars start over who has right to what water. That being said, I will still go out and throw a spinner for a bass or any other fish on an open body of water. I am not below using a treble hook when trying to catch a large mouth bass. Although I refuse to use a treble hook on a trout in a river. To me that is sacrilege.
Another driving factor for me is the “sounds of silence” when I am standing in a hole by myself with only the sounds of nature around me (and maybe the voices in my head when they are feeling talkative, just kidding, or am I?) There is something ethereal about the sound of the river bubbling past my legs and also the pressure that the water exerts on my legs. There is also the calming sound of the breeze blowing threw the leaves on a warm summer day that cannot be matched by anything else in the world. And, lest we not forget, there is always the chance of spotting a random animal in the bushes along the edge of the water as it hunts for it’s food. I live for those little gems on a daily basis whenever I am on the water.
I also find that every day that I fish a river is a new day and that even though I may be returning to a river that I have been to frequently it is almost as if I am fishing a new river. And sometimes it may even seem as though the river is dead or beaten. I know may if not all of us have experienced this at one time or another when we have gotten to our favorite hole where we have caught fish in the past. But upon arrival nothing even gives our flies a look because someone may have been thru that hole only a short time ago and put the fish down.
And one final factor to why I like fishing the rivers is that there are great friendships that I have built on many a river with fellow fly fishers around me, even the ones I did not go to the river with and happened to meet by chance. To those of you who have met that way with me I extend you a hearty “Thank You”
So, in closing, these are just some of my reasons that I am attracted to the rivers and I hope that maybe this has given you a little something to think about. I know I have more ideas as to why I am attracted to the rivers but this is enough for now and will give me a topic to add to later.