Friday, September 21, 2012

That's Why They Call It Fishing

The last several weeks we have done our fair share of hiking, driving and looking. What we haven't done is fishing, and that's one of our favorite outdoor activities. One reason we haven't been out to wet a line is that fish are few and far between this time of year. By the end of the summer, most of the lakes and streams in the Black Hills have been heavily fished, and only fingerlings rise to the bait. Up until now, the scenery has been great, but the fish few and far between.

However, to get ready for the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park, the Parks Service has been busy in the last several days restocking the lakes and streams in the park. In preparation for the possibility of good fishing for a few days, John fulfilled his wish to try fly fishing. Last week he took a day trip with Dave Gamet, head guide with Dakota Angler and Outfitter of Rapid City. They fished north of Custer near Spearfish, and John had the thrill of landing a 20-inch trout and battling a fiesty 23-incher. The waters where they fished are catch-and-release, so John wasn't too disappointed when the larger fish managed to get into some rocks and cut the line.

Yesterday and today, we tried our trout-catching skills in the Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area in Custer State Park. On Thursday, the only thing we caught was a lot of fishing frustration and photos of a couple of squirrels, a chipmunk, a flock of turkeys and a menage a trois of dragonflies.

Today was a different story, thank goodness! Maybe it was because we got an earlier start, or were more patient, or perhaps the fish were hungrier. For whatever reason, we had a wonderful day fishing. 

John's theory that flies are better than bait was vindicated. I caught two nice trout on pink power bait, but he caught four, not only the most but the biggest, including this 16-inch beauty. 

It was a great day....and dinner will be something special!

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