onelastcastDuff2Guest Blogger: Caleb Duff, Laramie, WY

A few months ago I started fishing the North Crow Reservoir near Cheyenne, Wyoming on and off. I had never had much luck and only brought home one or two rainbow each day if I was lucky. I had much better luck at lakes closer to town but I was determined to figure this lake out. North Crow is one of the more remote lakes of the area and I’ve rarely seen another soul there despite being full of splake, grayling and rainbow. In fact, in 2011 a 13.6-pound splake was pulled from the depths of this reservoir making a new, and still standing, state record. Neither the rising trout nor the prospect of a record-breaking fish could do anything other than add to my frustration.

Not so bright and early one Saturday morning I grabbed my creel, rod and waders and hopped in my truck. As I made my ascent up from Laramie to the top of the pass I began to see fairly dense fog in my headlights. It wasn’t until I parked that I realized this fog was a light rain. That light rain became a full on down pour. Being in Wyoming I decided to wait a while for the weather to change and sure enough, about 10 minutes later the rain let up. Trying to seize the moment of opportunity I threw on my waders and hit the water. Well, being Wyoming, 10 minutes later the weather changed again. The wind picked up and the innocent droplets of rain turned to sinister icicles slicing through the air. A slush of water and snow was dropping down through forty mile an hour winds and to top it off, my old waders were leaking like a sieve. About 20 minutes later I was officially the coldest I had ever been.

I was just one cast away from leaving, then I was just one cast away from leaving, then after that I was just one, well maybe two casts away from leaving. Maybe it was the onset of hypothermia or just the stubborn nature of a lot of us sportsman but I realized that this was right where I was supposed to be. There’s something about challenging yourself and overcoming the elements that makes every moment worth it. I could be asleep in my bed right now with the heater going and a warm cup of coffee waiting for when I wake up but I wouldn’t be here right now with a line in the water and numb fingers. Just then the stimulator on the end of my line shot underwater as a fish took the chironomid I had sunk below it. I set the hook and the tip of my 6-wt shot towards the water. I slid the rainbow into my net and stuck him on the stringer. Then another, then another and then another, before I knew it I had a full stringer.

I could have easily stayed home or turned around as soon as I saw it begin to rain, but I didn’t. I made a small sacrifice to my level of comfort and it was rewarded with dinner for my roommate and myself. Next time the weather turns or you hit snooze, stay persistent, stay just a bit longer, make a sacrifice to your comfort and you will be rewarded.

1 Comment

  1. Questionable advice at best. Although a bit of rain or snow can be tolerable if you are prepared for it. Sticking it out however becomes problematic when wind and/or lightning have the potential to get severe quickly. Having been caught out in extremely severe winds and lightning more that once in Alabama, Minnesota, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, nature is something not to be toyed with. A few extra fish on the stringer just isn’t worth potential bouts with severe weather which routinely kill people. Even a wading angler can be overcome by severe winds that can turn a placid lake into a death trap. Err on the side of caution and survival. At those times, comfort is the better part of stubornesss.
    Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

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