Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

What do you mean the fish aren’t biting?


With six fly boxes in my vest, another dozen flies drying on the wool patch on the front of my vest and still more on the fleece band on my hat, I have enough flies and in as big an assortment that there has to be something a fish will eat – at least show an interest in. But as it turns out, the fish aren’t biting …and that’s what the fishing report said when I called the hotline.

Ever since trout season opened the last Saturday in April, fishing reports have been guarded; in fact, they’ve been downright abysmal. But someone has to make those reports and they have to be based on someone trying to catch fish. I’ve never heard or read a fishing report that said, “We’re told the fishing is poor.” If that was the case, why would anyone call the hotline to begin with? Yet most reports on the internet show a big fish held by a guide or client that would make any piscator salivate with envy all the while reading, “The fish aren’t biting.”

Fishermen aren’t known for being precise or even honest. I mean, every time a fish story is told and retold, the size of the fish increases by a couple of inches and it’s girth expands like my stomach after a bowl of chili. So when “the fish aren’t biting” and a monster brown is shown in the hands of a guide, take it with a grain of salt, smile and continue with your plans to go fishing.

The point is, there are ways to catch fish that vary from day to day, river to river and from one fisherman to another. It’s not that the fish aren’t biting, the crux of the matter is, the fish aren’t taking what they’re being offered or in the way it’s being offered. But our egos aren’t satisfied by truth, they’re soothed by asserting the lack of success is the fish’s fault, instead of ours.

I’ve been cold, wet, just plain miserable and tired standing in a river up to my bellybutton while wind and rain made it more miserable, but whether or not I caught fish, well… that’s always been up to me.




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