From my very first catch to my biggest catch yet
I am new to fishing, as I only started about a year ago. Being from Colorado I have always enjoyed outdoor activities including hiking, snowshoeing, and running. For awhile I had been curious about fishing but had never made the jump to actually doing it. However, last spring, I decided it was time to try something new and finally began the journey. I experimented with both spin fishing and fly fishing. Fly fishing prevailed as I liked the technique and challenge involved. And thus started down the path of catching my first fish!
Since then, I have explored many different fishing spots around Colorado. My very first time fishing was in a lake in Longmont where I caught one small panfish. I can say that no one has ever been that proud of catching a 3" fish. Or, as you can see from the picture below, has ever been that scared of a 3" fish...
I am happy to announce that I have come a long way.
I have explored different fishing spots in many Colorado towns including Nederland, Estes Park, Breckenridge, Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette and Lyons. I have caught an assortment of fish including an abundance of Bluegill, Brookies, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Let me note, I no longer make that face when they wiggle.
Getting the Hang of Things
Getting the hang of casting has been the most challenging aspect of my fishing experiences. For the first month, I spent more time catching branches and pond weeds than actual fish. I also have lost my fair share of flies... I have learned different kinds of casts including roll casts, wind casts, and back casting. While I am far from being a master, I can say my casting has improved and I continue to develop my technique each time I go out.
My Biggest Catch
The highlight of my short fishing career occurred a few weeks ago. Up to this point, I had caught several kinds of fish but they were on the small side, ranging from 3-5 inches. While I am not complaining, I was ready and hoping to catch a bigger fish. I was told that Fort Morgan, Colorado had some lakes with huge Bass. Therefore, I committed to waking up at 5:00 AM and making the long drive to Fort Morgan. I arrived just past 7 AM, perfect for early morning feeding as the sun wasn't too bright and the waters were still cool. I used leeches and hoppers and began the day hoping to catch the large Bass I had heard about. There were plenty of fish in the lake and they were hungry. My first couple of catches were Bluegill and small Bass. I was pleased with these catches but was still hoping for a larger one.
After about two hours and trying a few different flies and lakes in the area, I felt a hearty tug. I knew this was the one. I began to bring him in and had a mini battle as he tried to bury himself in the weeds. I finally got him out of the water and into my net. My suspicions were correct, he was a big one! Measuring 18" I later found out he was the fifth largest fish to ever come out of this lake. This was the catch I had been hoping for and was well worth setting my alarm for 5:00 AM! After a quick picture and getting his measurements, I released him back into the lake.
From catching a 3" fish merely a year ago, to catching an 18" Bass, I am thrilled with the progress I have made and have discovered one of my favorite new hobbies! I am planning more fishing trips in the following weeks with hopes of catching some Carp. I would recommend to any outdoor enthusiast who has ever considered fishing to give it a go as I know it will be something I continue to do, learn about and love.