Thursday, March 10, 2011

Slump Buster

The action has been a little slow for me lately; truth be told there was a stretch there where I didn’t get any for longer than I’d like to admit. We’ve all been there, right? I consoled myself with the notion that it can happen to the best of 'em. But as the dry spell wore on, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was off my game. Self-doubt was rearing its ugly head, I was questioning my methods, my approach and - at my lowest point - my motivation. I soldiered on, putting faith in the most rudimentary of tactics: persistence. Dogged determination paid off here and there, but the results weren't pretty; what little I was getting wasn't anything to brag about. My buddies were hooking up left and right with the local talent, but living vicariously through them only went so far - I needed to get in on the action.

The slump buster comes in many forms, mine just so happened to be a beautiful trout.
Fortunately my luck finally improved this week, providing me with reassurance that I can still catch trout (that's right, despite the innuendo and possible parallels with other facets of my life, this is an account of my recent fishing struggles). I'd been skunked on two consecutive outings in recent weeks, once on the Missouri and once on the upper Clark Fork. The latter was a particularly tough pill to swallow since I couldn't use the weather as an excuse, and the guys I was with were doing very well on a variety of flies. I chalked it up to my inexperience on the fishery, and left it at that.

I didn't have to dwell on my shortcomings for too awfully long. Temperatures soared into the 40's this week, giving me just the excuse I needed to get back out on the water. Reports of good fishing on the lower Madison proved accurate as I caught multiple trout at each of a few favorite holes in Bear Trap Canyon. The fish were greedily munching red midge pupa, and pink soft hackles. The wind was absolutely ripping, but I wasn't going to let it ruin the first good day of fishing I'd had in quite some time. The best fish of the day was a beautiful 18 inch rainbow, caught by my buddy of course, but even I managed to catch numerous trout in the 12 to 16 inch range. It appears my slump is over, and just in time for some great spring fishing.


  1. "Possible parallels...". Ha. Admit it, you broke out of one slump, but you're still mired in the other.

    When I'm in a fishing slump I always put on a fresh leader for starters, and I fish solo until I bust out of it. As for the ladies, well, you're on your own there bud.

  2. Hey, nothing to be ashamed of. There is no better way to break out of a slump than by landing a brute. We've all had to do it at one time or another. That's something I learned in college.

  3. I'm glad that some of you caught the humor there. Nice to have put that slump behind me! It got so bad at one point that I thought about putting on a bead set-up... I would have regretted that the next morning.

  4. Beautiful canyon, hungry trout = great combo for busting out of a nasty slump. Glad you are back in the swing of things.