August 14, 2018

The Best Trout Stream in the World

"The Best Trout Stream in the World" refers to a chapter in John Gierach's Fool's Paradise, to which I'm currently listening on audiobook.

I bring it up because my mind has been meandering non-stop, potentially just like said stream since this afternoon.


The beauty of such a concept, "the best trout stream in the world," is that it can never be proven. Such a place is 100% undiscoverable and equally undefinable, no matter how much one might try. 


It's true, an angler might experience one of those magical days where they catch fish after fish all afternoon... the bite never slowing until their arm gets tired. 


But water, being ever flowing, is never the same the next hour, day, week, or year. That fantastic trout stream fished yesterday, the one with the cool, gentle flows can easily present itself as equally stubborn and harsh today. 


Not to mention the features. That beautiful slick pool, for years ideal for drifting dry flies, can be permanently altered in an instant by downed timber. It doesn't take much.


How does one compare an eastern brook trout stream to a western cutthroat stream? Each holds unique jewels that once uncovered are best not graded. Don't believe me? Ask the golden trout in California or the marbles of Slovenia.


And don't ignore man's role in this difficult equation. They say everything fished better "back in the day" and likely for good reason. Not only do recollections grow fonder in time, but environmental impacts do too. The better something is perceived, the more fragile it is likely to become.


Can "best" even be quantified as a characteristic of a stream itself, or could it be heightened by something external? Be it an arduous journey, a great companion, or success in spite of a difficult situation what actually enhances the experience and "quality" of the water?


That's why I choose to think "the best trout stream in the world" is the one I'm currently fishing, regardless of location. 

Each and every time.

And fortunately, nobody can prove me wrong.

25 comments:

  1. Mike excellent points, and so very true.
    A beaver dam one day and then it's blown out the next, the change is dramatic and may alter that stream for a year.
    Is that a conventional fly rod you have in hand?

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    1. Good eye Alan. Yep, that's a rod with a REEL. Right tool for the job in that thick brush. I fish tenkara a lot, but we're not exclusive :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

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  3. Mike, I couldn't agree more with you. Although I have streams I am especially fond of....the best trout stream is the one I find myself standing in, feeling relaxed and taking in all that is around me.....and bringing a few fish to hand doesn't hurt either.

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  4. The best stream in the world... Easy... The one I, or any of us, are standing on at the moment :).

    Enjoyed this post Mike!
    Will

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    1. Thanks Will! It's definitely all relative to your personal point of view.

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  5. I see a lot of different streams there in the photos, from the Driftless to Slovenia, from New England to the Smokies to Montana, even to the mountains of N-C PA, and they're all the best stream in the world. Nice going!

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    1. I've been fortunate to fish a lot of pretty water. I know you have too. Trout don't live in ugly places they say. They're right.

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  6. Michael
    I can see why the term "The Best Trout Stream in the World" applies---great post--thanks for sharing

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    1. And lucky for you, I bet you live close to it yourself Bill!

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  7. I do have the best trout stream in the world. For me, anyway. =)

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  8. Such beautiful water no matter where we are. I'm also lucky to live in a state that has some great water.

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    1. Yes you are Howard, the options for "best" in Colorado are limitless!

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  9. Okay....this is probably one of my favorite posts of yours. Well written, sir!

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    1. Thanks man. By the reaction here it's clear...formula noted. More photos, less (but better selected) words.

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  10. Great points Mike. The stream you fish today may be a different stream the a year, month or even day after. So many streams so little time.

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    1. Your last sentence, ain't that the truth!!!

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  11. Your style is really unique in comparison to other
    people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity,
    Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

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