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Easy to Catch Trout Versus Difficult To Catch Trout
For the benifit of those who think their idea of catching trout is the same as everyone's, I thought I would point
out some differences in anglers. In order to emphasize one of the big differences between trout anglers, you
could lump them into one of two categories - those that want plenty of action without any complications, and
those that enjoy a challenge.

There is a huge number of those anglers that don't have to opportunity to fish very often (more than those that
do have the opportunity) and don't want to spend the limited time they have for pleasure casting their arms off
without catching plenty of trout. In this case fishing for easy to catch, stocked trout is completely understandable
and justifiable. Now that I've written that, to be perfectly honest, if that's what someone prefers, limited on time
spent for pleasure or not, they should be able to do just that. The choice of how, where and what to fish for
should be completely up to the individual.

Some try to insure they will catch plenty of trout by hiring a guide to in essence do some of the fishing for them,
and others just make sure they fish where there's plenty of easy to catch, willing trout. This could be a heavily
stocked stream or a pay to fish location where the fish are fed. Again, I want to make certain that you
understand that as far as I am concerned, there isn't anything wrong with either approach. I believe that fly
fishing, first and foremost, should be fun.

Unless there are some holdover trout, I personally dislike fishing any heavily stocked stream. That doesn't mean I
think these streams shouldn't have their place and or that I would belittle anyone that fished for hatchery planted
trout. They serve a good purpose in promoting the sport and providing fun for those that fish the streams. I do
strongly object to the stocking of any stream where the trout could reproduce on their own to an appreciable
extent. I have fished many streams that had what's referred to as supplemental stocked trout where I felt certain
the additional hatchery raised fish were not necessary in order to maintain a reasonable population of trout.
Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems with many trout streams, including those stocked and some of those
that are not stocked.

In general, those that fly fish for trout more often, or those anglers that take their fishing a little more seriously,
rather pass on the easy to catch stocked trout. They prefer to catch wild or native trout. They enjoy the
challenge of catching trout. In a simple sense, they enjoy fooling the trout into taking their fly. Off hand, you would
think that neatly categories the group of "serious" anglers; however, that's far from being true. This group of
anglers I just attempted to neatly categorize also have huge differences in their preferences.

Often, the wild or native trout are easy to catch. In general terms, fishing faster moving water and only at times
when conditions are optimal isn't that much different from fishing for easy to catch stocked trout. There are
anglers who are quick to tell you they prefer fishing for wild or native trout only, but at the same time, only want to
fish when the weather is perfect, water temperatures are optimum, water levels are excellent, hatches are
plentiful, etc.  They believe they are steps ahead of those who hire guides, fish for easy to catch stocked trout
and those that fish for the quote "trophy" trout that have been fed. The truth is, there really isn't that great of a
difference, insofar as either knowledge or skill is concerned.

Let me qualify the fast water statement. Fast water alone doesn't necessarily make the fishing easy, but it alway
makes it easier than fishing slow moving or still water. Fishing fast water with a broken surface, under optimum
conditions, greatly lessens the challenge of catching trout. Opposite of that would be fishing slow moving water
with a smooth, slick surface. The differences in these two scenarios is about as great as the differences in fishing
for stocked trout and wild trout. In summary, there can be huge differences in the challenges involved when you
are fishing for wild and native trout.

For example, Angie and I have stopped catching brook trout on many occasions when we were catching a fish
every few cast. We have also stopped fishing when we were catching a large number of smaller rainbows. I don't
mean this in a bragging sense by any means. I simply mean that at times, fishing fast moving pocket water under
ideal conditions is like taking candy from a baby. We have moved away from streams where we quickly caught
large numbers of small to average size cutthroat trout many times. In these cases the trout were native trout.  
Some western streams, where brook trout were stocked at one time, have such a huge population the state's
encourage anglers to keep them. Of course, these too are wild trout. When it comes to the challenge trout
provide anglers, the type of water you are fishing is a huge factor. It isn't always as great as the difference in
fishing for stocked or wild/native trout, but it can be. In fact, depending on the particular waters involved, it can be
a larger factor than anything in one's ability to catch trout.

Since many anglers are dreaming and planning about fishing various destinations this new year while old man
Winter is hanging around, during the next few days take some time and look at the many streams on our Stream
section of the Perfect Fly Website. You will find some where fishing is at its best during the winter months. Spring
Creeks and tailwater are usually the prime candidates for wintertime fishing.
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Photo Courtesy Derek Porter
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Trout such as this wild brown trout are rarely easy to catch