I’ve been fly fishing now for twenty-three years and have caught some monster fish over the years. From about 2004 through 2013, I hunted primarily big browns and rainbows–which are not native to Eastern Idaho–with streamers like the Circus Peanut and Peanut Envy. There is nothing quite like fooling an aggressive big fish with a fly.
About five years ago, I gravitated back to my roots and started fishing small creeks again. I first fished tenkara in the Fall of 2014 and found it to be perfect for small stream fishing, especially on my favorite cutthroat stream, which I call “Trickle Creek.” Admittedly, there are no monsters in this creek. The average fish is probably eight inches. However, there are some surprisingly big fish for such a little creek.
And that’s where Jonah comes in. This fish lives in a stretch of the creek degraded by cattle grazing, which denudes the banks of vegetation and often causes them to cave in. Notwithstanding, the creek and the fishes’ saving grace is the numerous icy springs and its rocky bottom. Jonah lives in a beautiful bend in the creek under a rocky ledge, which just looks fishy.
When he first came out of hole and attacked my Renegade, my eyes about popped out of my head. He was a beast for this tiny size of creek. After a good fight on the Tenkara USA Rhodo, I brought him to hand and had to take some pictures.
I quickly released the cutty back to his lair to play another day. After numerous years of fishing this creek, I believe this is one of its biggest (if not the biggest) fish. Of course, every time I fished the creek, I had to check to see if he was home. Sometimes I caught him and sometimes I didn’t, but always had fun trying. All said, I recollect catching Jonah a total of three times last summer.
Jonah has made me rethink my definition of a trophy fish. These native fish have been in Trickle Creek since the dawn of time. To know a creek so well that you figure out exactly where the biggest fish resides and how to catch him is a worthwhile pursuit in and of itself.