THERE IS a tendency among White River fly fishing guides to develop tendencies of a “size queen”  working day in and day out among the brown trout that are here.  That and, at least the appearance of, equilibrium in the face of massive water flow changes.

It’s all relative of course: depending on your location and home waters the preferred species and size it takes to make a trophy will vary widely, and that’s not counting personal experience either.

This week I had a first time streamer fisher Jack Stewart in the bow who has been fly fishing for only a couple of years, and with a PB of a 9” brown. In the rear seat his son Jason Stewart, a Wisconsin musky guide, whose regular target species would regard your average brown trout as a snack. It’s all relative.

Jack learning how to deal with sinking lines, heavier rods and a 5” lightweight variant of my Lap Dancer streamer, was drawing a lot of the hungry fish. Jason moved the bigger fish but couldn’t fin a committed eater. 

The conditions were sub-optimal but it was about the fun, and giving Jack a taste of Jason’s passion.

So we were all excited when Jack broke through with an 18” fish: Jason and I were digging out cameras when Jack accidentally let his catch swim free from the net _ not even the trash talking couldn’t wipe his grin off.

The 20” pictured above came later along with a third around the same size which came free at the boat. 


At Rim Shoals, a first frigid touch of winter in the air Jack would say “You know I think I might like this streamer fishing”. And that produced the biggest grin of the day from even the ever smiling Jason.

Some days its not just trout you catch.

Steve Dally