The tradition continues at Sweetgrass Rods;
crafting fine bamboo fly fishing rods

Thanks for the wonderful craftsmanship. You guys are amazing.
Frank D.

No one said it would be easy

Rolling clouds crested nearby mountains, blocking the sun, and leaving my approach to the river in shade. I pulled a wool hat down tighter, and watched the clouds. Like any trip to the river, I enjoyed every moment I stood near rushing water. My nose was a bit cold, however.

I had driven past this river stretch many times, yet it had been about a decade since I stopped to fish. Last time, I caught many trout, only a few Whitefish, and was able to relax in a riverside hot spring. This time, the fish were not hungry.

Looking downstream, you can see the mist from the tributary hot spring on the right. I was too busy fishing and freezing to stop and relax in the springs. The sun was far below the western ridge, and I had yet to catch a fish. How does that happen?

My guides were freezing on every fourth cast, and darkness seeped through the valley. My time on the river was about up, and I was about to go home fishless. This has not happened in a long time. In fact, I'm not sure when the last time was, I have not caught a fish on a fishing trip, no matter how brief (I usually don't quit 'till I catch one...). Not that I have to catch a fish. I just really like to catch them when possible, you know.

In my fish drought, I had switched to many fly patterns styles, and none produced. I fished through most of the water surrounding me, and caught nothing. I switched back to my Marathoner pattern, which I started with, but cut after not having luck. My fifth cast at the far end of the hole -- about 60 feet upstream, plopped in to a good-looking hold. My strike indicator stopped and sunk down, but I ignored it. Yep, ignored my bobber. It had been indicating my flies getting tugged by so many boulders, that I had given up on reacting. After my indicator stayed oddly put, I lifted and felt a fish tug! But, my slovenly hook set left me fishless. I could feel the fish twist on pop off the fly, through the sensitivity of my Sweetgrass, 3 piece, pent.

I cussed a little.

Then, I cast back to the same spot, ready like a mountain lion watching a cottontail emerge from its hole. Instantly, I felt a pause, set the hook, and this time...

I was secured to a beautiful trout! It was a brilliant sensory awakening to be fighting this native fish on a cane rod. Just perfect.

Yep, a native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout that thought my Marathoner delivered by a Sweetgrass rod was irresistible. Or it could see the icy tears streaming down my cheek because I was not catching fish. Hard to tell.

A kiss and a release (after I slipped the Marathoner out, of course). Check out that orange slash!

And that made me happy.

In Wild Waters,

Zac Sexton

The Meandering Booboy

P.S. I do remember Christmas day and that I may not have caught a fish then. However, that was many trips ago, and I tend to repress such depressing memories....
Back from testing rods in Patagonia!
Catching up on a lot of fishing


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Sweetgrass Rods ~~ P.O. Box 486 ~~ 121 West Galena ~~ Butte, Montana 59703
406.782.5552 ~~
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