The hardest thing usually to leave behind can loosely be called the conscience
It’s dark outside, really dark, probably two hours after sunset. The wind is seemingly blowing from every direction as you try to attach an egg pattern to light tippet. Your headlamp is not quite bright enough to see what you are doing but somehow the egg fly and tippet come together and you cinch the knot. Now you direct your headlamp’s attention to the shallow riffle in front of you…two feet of burnt orange meanders back and forth in the current (a big, spawning brown). You shut the headlamp off. Then you strip off just enough line to land the egg above the fish’s viewing lane. The headlamp clicks back on and you relocate the fish, you cast above the spot and watch as the egg drifts into the fish’s face. Wham! Who knows if the big trout actually ate your egg or if it more or less smacked it in the mouth? Either way you’ve got yourself a true trophy and a great grip and grin photo opportunity. After horsing the unsuspecting fish around in the current, you put a big bend in the rod and drag the specimen to the bank. Out will come the camera and the fish’s eggs for that matter…
If you have ever spent much time fly-fishing in the spring or fall, you have no doubt found yourself in this situation, or at least contemplated yourself in this situation. At some point as fly fisherman the desire to raid a redd is all too tempting, and I can’t think of too many anglers (including yours truly) who has not taken a fish off a redd. I mean, come on…who’s going to know? What’s the big deal with sticking a nice fish and taking a few pictures? The big deal is, that beautiful fish is sitting in that shallow riffle in order to create tomorrow’s trophies. So, the next time you wander by a redd, why not just put the fly rod down and stop and marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature sitting right in front of you, instead of taking advantage of her?
Author: Tyler Bowman
Guide, Bucking Rainbow Outfitters
Steamboat Springs, Colorado