Easy caught fish, unpictured

by Jeff Johnston
(Lubbock, Texas)

It was myself and a pretty good size group of buddies who decided to go to Cimmeron, New Mexico to do a little trout fishing. Truth be told, we were fishing for meat. The plan was for everyone to go out, catch the limit on trout for that area, come back and have a really nice evening fish fry while exchanging our "catch stories". We spent the first day up and down the rivers, trying to find that perfect spot. All the pictures taken were of the guys throwing perfect text book casts with beautiful mountains in the backgrounds or the trees and rivers surrounding the fisherman. Those pictures were beautiful, but that's not where the fish were found. All the guys fly fished in the streams and rivers but one....Wally. Wally had actually been my gymnastics coach in high school, and had resorted to sitting quietly by the lake at the camp site with a simple Zebco rod and cast reel, with a nice red and white bobber on his line. The first evening came and went, and few men brought in fish. I had zero to my name, and my good buddy Steve had a zero balance as well. A few of the others had managed to catch a handful of browns and rainbows, but not enough for our traditional meal. Most of the fish were brought in by...you guessed it...Wally. Day two and we were back on the river! By mid-afternoon, I had at least gotten some nibbles and Steve had caught a brown. We met up with a couple of guys who had about the same luck we had. Steve and I decided to swing by a small picnic park that had a small stream running next to it to scarf down our sandwiches before jumping back in the river. We sat at some picnic tables that were only two feet or so from the small creek. I quickly ate my sandwich and then decided to goof off in the water while sitting on the bench. I tossed my fly into the water and almost immediately BAM!, a trout darted out from beneath a log, swallowed my fly, and in no time he was in my fish bag. No skillful casting, no near perfect presentation, I simply dropped my fly in the water while standing on the stream banks, and one after another, I began pulling out trout after trout. Steve had wandered off up stream to get into the main river but returned with nothing. Me, on the other hand caught more fish than ever while standing on the creek bank, with a picnic table right behind me and children playing on the playgrounds, ten feet away. At the end of that day we had a great fish fry, plenty of fish for everyone, and the one fisherman who was the primary fish provider, Wally. The pictures of our trip? Beautiful!

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