Carp fishing and permit fishing are extremely similar. If you had told me this before speaking with Justin, I would never have believed you. After talking with him, I am convinced. Of course it is not exactly the same, but if your living far from the ocean, chasing carp may scratch the itch. Justin's enthusiasm is contagious and this episode is one of the deepest dives we have had on the Wadeoutthere Podcast into all the intricate details that can bring success while fly fishing for any species.
I fished the Bighorn River in August of 2018 with my father and brother. It was my first time visiting a river after my last combat deployment to Afghanistan. At the time, I did not know that it would be my last deployment. My decision to leave the A-10 behind after fourteen years deeply impacted my life. That trip to the Bighorn was cathartic. The fishing was excellent. The room was great. The food was outstanding. Everyone we talked to was genuine in their desire for us to have a great time.
We went up the Stillwater River into the Beartooth Mountains. Past Sioux Charlie and Frenchy’s meadow. Beyond Cutoff Mountain. Further than I had ever gone. Until we reached the valley where Slough Creek flows down into Yellowstone Park. Vibrant green pine saplings blanketed the earth beneath tall grey sticks the fires left along the slopes until they reached the high edges of rockslides and steep granite. When the wind blew wildflowers in the grasses swayed and made fleeting purple waves in the pastures. We were alone. I was twenty years old, and thought I knew how special it was. Knew how small I was in the mountains. How precious that time was. Now I understand it was more than I could have known then.
I was twenty-two years old when I put the chapel spires of the USAF Academy in my rearview mirror for the last time, pointed my burgundy Volvo North, fly rod sticking out the window, and set out for the Rocky Mountains with my best friend in trail formation.
It is one thing to not catch fish while nymphing. It is another to be hooking up all day and then come up short on a great spot.