April 14th, 2003

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Rainbows
By Rex Lengacher, (aka. Satchel)

I clearly remember the first Rainbow Trout I ever caught for it was not very long ago. After fly-fishing for Bass and Panfish for 30 or so years I landed my first Rainbow on a cold and drizzly April morning. It was a feisty 8 or 9 inch fish with colors bright and fitting of the name. You see I live in Northeastern Indiana, which can in no way be considered prime Trout country, and I suspect that is mostly responsible for my lack of obsession with the fish, which seems so common an ailment with those who live close to it. This is country lacking in cold running water, but full of big deep lakes.

Oh there are trout here, Rainbows, Browns, and even Lake Trout in some of the deeper lakes. Some of these trout even reach respectable size, the State record for Rainbows is a bit over 18 pounds.

I caught quite a few Trout that morning, maybe 18 or 20 of them, all about the same size, 10-13 inches. I even caught a Brown Trout of 13 inches just before a heavy all day rain moved in and washed me back to the truck and home. I caught all these Trout on an old reliable fly pattern, the Woolly Bugger. First a black one in size 12, then after breaking that one off in a bush on the far side of the channel I tied on another size 12, this one with a black tail and hackle, but with a body of Peacock herl. I like that particular recipe very much, it seems to sparkle a bit but is still dark enough to hold the interest of fish who like black things to eat.

After this first dance with the famous and much written about Rainbow Trout I can sort of see what all the fuss is about. They are a strong and stubborn fish, not easily brought to hand, not sluggish and short fighting like the Bass and Panfish in the cold water of early spring.

They are an acrobatic fish too, capable of leaps and flops that few Bass will ever make. They have a stamina which I have seen in few other fish, driving them to pull against the constant bend of the rod and the pawl of the drag far longer than one would think they could. Oh, there is definitely an allure there which could draw a man into a lifetime of searching and casting in hopes of feeling that powerful tug at the end of his line.

A romance of sorts I guess you could call it. I have read about it many times. Maybe I'm just a little bit in love even now. ~ Rex Lengacher


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