Trout Nerd. Or Troutnerd. A term I use for myself a lot. I feel that I am that weird dude of the group that is way too involved with fly fishing and trout. I really get into trout and how they tick. I watch water temps, seine the river around the time the hatches are supposed to happen to see where the river is at in terms of food. Flows, barometric pressure, weather systems, and all the stuff, I just like to know whats going on. Even if I am not fishing. That way, if I run into someone who is or was, or wants to go, I know what to say.
I like to snorkel places during certain times of the year to watch what fish do. I like to see how many fish are actually hanging around too. Not always to catch them, well okay I am always trying to catch them, but in reality I also want to know just how healthy the river is. Especially the upper stretches. Places that are easy to walk and wade in the summer and take a mask and go check out the fish. It gives the angler in me more insight, but it also lets the outdoorsmen in me educate myself on the river. I especially like watching the salmon come in and how the river reacts. This past season was very fun as the Sockeye were more present in the upper river than I have ever seen. Our wild trout key in on this migration of zombified fish, that instead of flesh to eat, just want to get it on.
Watching salmon make the trek from the ocean, even hatchery fish, is still quite neat, but watching how these wild trout have benefited from them is even more interesting to the nerd in me. Huge populations of our rainbow and cutthroat move in behind these fish and feed on eggs and flesh. Always being mindful of redds the fishing can be rather spectacular, while you may throw eggs to them a lot, the sheer number that follow them up makes the dry fly and nymph fishing throughout the system super sweet.
Snorkeling in the upper river watching lots of 16 inch, and a few quite a bit bigger, rainbow feed on salmon flesh floating down river was pretty wicked too, catching them on big gray bunny leaches was awesome. I would have never thought to fish then or even know the large rainbows were in there without doing a little research and discovery for myself. It helps in all aspects of angling and only makes you a little crazy.
Simply taking the time to watch the river without chasing trout can be beneficial. Sure it makes you nerdy, but when you do have a fly rod in your hand, you are that much more in tune with what is going on. Being in tune means that those who are fishing in the boat have a better day on the river. Like a tuning fork, keeping everyone on pitch, with the river.
The other thing that being a troutnerd does is it gets me super excited about fishing. Good energy and vibes can make a slow day go by better, and a great day freaking awesome! Sometimes you gotta sing to them trout, get them to come into the boat. Other times they require really intense focus, a different tone, a different pitch. Setting that up is half the fun of fishing with people and being a guide. I get just a big a kick out of tricking a trout myself as having other people trick one. Especially with me on the sticks. When a friend is fishing in the boat, or client. When they trick a trout and the fun begins, it means that everything just clicked. The position of the boat, where the trout was, where the angler put the fly, the read, the drift, the take, the set, the anchor, the net, and the release. It all comes together and that’s what fly fishing is. All that stuff, that trout nerdy stuff that I can’t get enough of…it all syncs together, and we all share a bitchin’ moment with a trout.