Last Wednesday was a gorgeous spring day. I spent a few hours on a local creek and had a lot of fun catching some pretty small fish. I caught Spotted Bass, Bluegill, Longear Sunfish, and a few other species.
When I first got on the water, I was discouraged due to the creek still being cloudy from a recent rain; but I kept on fishing . . . and fishing . . . Trying different patterns and retrieval techniques and finally a Spotted Bass gave me a take.
After that one little fish, I started catching many different species of fish. Now, if you ever caught a Longear Sunfish, you know how beautiful they are - their bodies are a deep forest green from the dorsal area, brightening down into sunny yellow at the belly. From their jaws, streaks of fluorescent white-hot blue and red trickle down, tapering off into luminous spots. The colors stand out like brilliant flashes of lightning against a stormy grey sky - certainly worth a double take.
If we do take it all in - listening for whispers of the wind through the trees, the bubbling waters of the of the creek and delighting in every fish we catch - we will never be disappointed. Indeed, just because we are not catching monsters and mutants like those we see all the time in those (often photoshopped) pictures online, doesn't mean we aren't doing any good.
Be patient. Don't sweat the small stuff, including the small fish. A true fly fisherman would think a hard-fighting, eight inch Bluegill or a two pound Spotted Bass from the creek as much a trophy as a six pound Largemouth from a managed farm pond. It's just like taking a fifteen inch brook trout from a small creek over a twenty inch rainbow from a large river in Alaska.
Bigger can be fun, but it is not always better. So don't sweat the small fish, enjoy them! Fish all the time. Fish tough spots to improve your cast and approach. If you get tangled, try again and be patient. The more patient you are, the more fish you will catch. The more fish you catch, the more big fish you'll eventually have under your belt. Do your due diligence and that trophy will come to you.
Thanks for reading.