Smolt enthusiasts are a hearty bunch. It takes nothing to wax on at the bar about your brown trout the size of a spaniel, or your 16 lb coho taken on 4X. The platitudes are a given. It takes a lot of cojones and an equal amount of house scotch to begin holding court on your “life fish” the size of a baby carrot.
Embrace the small. As Dylan Tomine will describe in a forthcoming FFJ feature on fishing the mountain streams of Japan — it is clearly the future: Smoking cigarrettes incessantly with Mr. Roboto while spending weeks casting for 10-inch cherry salmon. The Wu Wei required for this kind of thing will not be prominent among those used to ambling from the 6-seat Beaver to the lodge to the stream and into a run that moves like a pewter avalanche upriver.
No, the smoltists are the future. Crawl into the upstream underbrush with your 6’0″ (priced to break) 2 wt. Stare intently at the swirling smolts under the shade of the dock before firing that 000 shooting head with sand flea pattern into their dance. Gaze at the retention pond minnows in a whole new light, then hammer them with #44 Sea Monkees.
Jump in and voice your vote for Smolt of The Month, Aug 2010. FFJ subscription, shirt, and a sweet pair of Smith shades so you can see that tiny thing.
Smoltus Uber Alles
Photo below: Wyatt Lester triumphant in his smolt approach, shot by Grandpa Ed.
According to Smallie smoltmaster G. Fentstermacher (that’s what his email said): “Hell of a smallmouth, eh? I’d say he’s about 2″, really put that 11’3″ switch rod to the test, and I’m surprised I was able to bring him in with only a Pflueger Medalist to back me up… But, I’m an expert, and was able to judiciously palm the reel on that first blistering run.” Nice moves, Fentster.
Kara Armano of Carbondale, CO with a parr-marked beauty of a Stimulator sucker.
Jim Yaussy Albright and a “thumbsized entry for Smolt of the Month. Took a Cinnamon Ant on a Washington stillwater”
Bob Garcia sent in 13 (count ’em, 13!) SMOTM entries, adding: “Catching Killer Smolts is my specialty and not easy with #14-16 flies!” We winnowed it down to this aggressive bluegill.
Below: CO photog extrodanaire and acclaimed sandwhich artist Copi Vojta sends this lil’ critter and disclaimer:
“my submission may need to be discussed before allowed to enter for several reasons as highlighted below:
1) it was caught years ago (however it was fly caught, as you can see and was caught by me)
2) i know not that it is an actual smolt, and if it is, what kind of smolt, perhaps a mormon smolt because it hails from the great state of wootah.
3) it was foul hooked, and i don’t know if foul hooked smolts are allowed to enter. i was not specifically “snagging” smolts this day though, just so you know.
other than that, please consider this guy for your contest. i could really use the publicity.”
For the record, any and all “Mormon” smolt are entered regardless of circumstances. Wootah in the house, yo.