June 26th, 2000

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Adventure Lost?

By Dave Leonhard

How many of occasionally complain that our favorite sports, our "secret spots" have more anglers than ever, that our rivers are no longer the quiet, peaceful slices of nature that originally drew us to them?

During the darkest, muggiest night in July, we have strangers fishing "Ol' Walter" in our personal logjam. Imagine the nerve to impose on our "secret spots."

Surely, it seems as if 90 percent of the anglers fish only 10 percent of the water. In fact, this is true.

Yet, consider the rivers and hatches you fished this season? Were they the same stretches and times you fish last year, the last several years?

If you're like most anglers, you fish the same rivers year after year and revisit the same holes when you do. There's no question most water goes unfished most of the season. Yet, we tend to return to the same spots and to increasing numbers of anglers rather than look for new streams and new adventures.


One reason may be we remember the great hatch and perfect float that fooled the big ones years ago and ever since visit the same spot to try and bring the memory back to life.

But, think about it. What originally drew us to these streams had little to do with such an experience. For most of us, it was the adventure of it all. It was the lure of finding a wild, rising fish feeding on a spinner fall in a reach of water far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

So, let's try to recapture that thrill of the new. Here's a prescription for fast relief from the congestion of "stream routine."

First, pull out the map books you bought so long ago. Set your course for a watershed you've never fished. There are dozens of cold waters in both peninsulas that have great hatches and hold trout.

Also make plan to fish a new hatch. Aim to do some terrestrial fishing next summer. You'll find miles of river all to yourself. And learn to streamer fish for big spawners in September. But take your camera, because there won't be anyone around to see you net the big bruiser.

Even ask your fishing friends to share one of their "secret spots." But don't be surprised if it turns out to be one you've fished year in, year out.

Reassess your priorities. See if solitude and adventure don't outweigh the convenience of your usual haunts. Rediscover the excitement that brought you to the sport in the first place. You'll be amazed just how much great water is out there to enjoy.

You'll also be surprised that the exhilaration that attracted you in the first place is still there. You need only look for it. I'll get when you find that little piece of solitude and fool a good trout, it will immediately become your new "secret spot." ~ David Leonhard

From Michigan Trout, the Official Publication of the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited. Check out their website! David Leonhard is an instructor for the Michigan Council Fly Fishing School.

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