Free to Catch Bigger Fish

The first Tuesday in October. For many people it would be just another work day. But for me it was another example of why I chose to make changes in my life to allow me more time to go fishing. I had the freedom to go to one of the top trout streams in the area – a place I have only fished once before earlier this year.

I was able to put on my wading boots instead of donning a suit and tie. I headed North into the wilderness instead of into rush hour traffic.

I was working on improving my finesse casting instead of improving corporate profits.

And I created a memorable day with a handful of very nice trout landed and one bald eagle sighting that was closer than I’d ever had before in my life to one of those majestic symbols of freedom. 

It was kind of fitting in a way.  These are the memories I had been giving up for so long during my working life. It’s why I made it a point to find better places to catch bigger fish. Why I chose to create more time freedom in my life.

In fact, this trout would have been my largest rainbow ever prior to 2022. Now it barely cracks the top five. Partly because I spent a lot of hours identifying places to catch fish. Partly because I had the right bait and presentation. And partly because on Tuesday morning there’s a lot less people on the stream.

The amazing thing is, this is just one spot on one stream out of nearly 200 that I’ve identified as “good” places to fish locally.  I never appreciated how good the fishing is around here; I always fished the same 4 or 5 spots, rarely catching anything out of the ordinary.

I’m guessing most people live the same way.  In our limited time to go fishing, we go to our familiar spots to unwind.  But we never try many new posts, and probably rarely catch any bigger fish.  

So far this year I’ve caught at least nine – yes 9! – Personal bests or “PB’s”.  Only one of those was caught in water that I had fished before the year began.  I didn’t set out to catch bigger fish, I only intended to find some better fishing spots that were maybe a little less pressured or were at least a new experience for me.  And honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if I add a few more PB’s this fall either.

As I thought about what I did to find these spots (many I’ve yet to fish) and to catch bigger fish, there are at least 25 different pieces to the puzzle, each one with the potential to help you find better places to catch bigger fish.   So over the coming months I’ll take the time to share each of those tips, and hopefully you can have the thrill of catching something larger than you’ve ever caught before.  If I can do it after nearly 50 years of fishing, anyone can.

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