Fishing is not about the fish, or so people say. I beg to differ. For me, the bright yellow sides on this high water brown trout, the perfect and burly proportions, and the red highlights on the tail and adipose fin take that notion and throw it right out the window.

Okay, rewind to the previous day, I got a call from my friend Jessie. Yup, the same Jessie that happened to be on the little Bull Trout adventure. He said he had the morning to fish and wanted to head out. I mentioned a stream I hadn’t fished in a while and we hammered out details to meet up. On the drive out we talked fishing and I described the water (it would be his first time on this particular water). Medium-sized with some good pools, under cut banks, perfect riffles and almost always slightly off color. Home to some mean brown trout and a few rare rainbow and cutthroat. It holds some nice fish and I am always waiting for something over 24″ to come out of there. Now, for those who don’t know, here in Utah we had a very wet winter (500+ inches of snow in the Wasatch Mountains) followed by a wetter spring than Utah has had in I-don’t-know-how-many years. We’re already into September but it’s so crazy that we’re still dealing with high water runoff-like conditions. As we laced up our boots we talked tatics and decided streamers would be a good way to start the day off and if it didn’t produce we would change it up and toss some weighted nymphs. Needless to say we changed to nymphs, haha.

A wire worm  for weight and medium sized stoneflies were the ticket of the day and started producing almost instantly. We had both caught some decent fish when we approached a nice pool. It was created by a bend in the river and was on the far side of the river where a portion of the bank had fallen into the water (due to run0ff) forming the pool with a side eddie. I decided I was going to cross even thought the water was high, off color and we couldn’t tell how deep it was. I removed my fishing pack went for it, the water was easily over my waist and the current was fast but I made to the other side and threw my rig in. Crap, I hooked a sunken tree branch. I crept as close as I could and unhooked it trying not to spook the hole. Back in position I tossed in again trying to avoid the newly discovered snag area and my indicator tanked! I set the hook and the unseen fish blazed down stream sending me chasing after. To avoid snags and an impassable hole I crossed the river almost chest deep trying to keep a tight line. It sounds awesome but couldn’t help but think of Brad Pitt in a river runs through it. Once on the other side I gained some line and soon landed this tank-like brown trout. Now I love fishing with friends, being outdoors and the whole experience, but a fish like this that is so impressively marked is what keeps me fishing and not just hiking or doing some other outdoor activity. I love holding a great fish – whether that is due to size, color, fight, circumstances or all the above – and then putting it back in the water and watching him swim off. Mission complete!

About The Author

Hawg Wrangler

Derek Olthuis, raised in the wilds of Montana like the Jungle Book's Mowgli. Totally obsessed with fly fishing, exploring and adventure. When not guiding he enjoys fly fishing and Squatching for Unicorns. Fishing is fun!

6 Responses

  1. Josh

    That is a good looking fish! Sounds like it took a handful to get a handful of brown love!

  2. mike

    sweet brown! i look forward to chasing them again soon since i’m moving back to utard.


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