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.

Jonah’s layer is right in that dark hole under the rock.

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.

Look at the shoulders on that fish!

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.

This photo is from the second time I caught Jonah.  Check out those chompers.

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.


This is the third time I caught this beaut. Jonah is no monster, but he is a trophy fish to me.


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Andrew Wayment

Andrew M. Wayment (Andy) is an attorney by profession and an outdoorsman by passion. Andy is a partner with the law firm, Tolson & Wayment, PLLC in Idaho Falls Idaho where he helps clients in and out of Court. Andy’s family includes his beautiful wife Kristin, four daughters, two sons, and two bird dogs. In his free time, Andy enjoys writing and has published numerous articles on upland bird hunting and fly fishing in various magazines and the local newspaper. His first book is Heaven on Earth Stories of Fly Fishing, Fun & Faith. When Andy is not at work or with his family, you may find him at the river waving a fly rod or in the field toting a shotgun and following his bird dogs.

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