For what my father considered quality fly fishing, he and his friend would drive 2 hours to enjoy trout fishing. Sometimes, they would drive even further and spend the night at what I would consider a darn good trout fishing location. Not once did they consider fishing local lakes or streams close to home. My father did fish for largemouth bass once at Natural Dam but he didn't fare well. I'm sure if he did, my father wouldn't have driven as far so many times to enjoy trout fishing.
Perhaps, he was trying to relive his glory days in Kamloops. We used to catch some fairly large lake trout in British Columbia. A beautiful place to live and I'm sure I would be slaying them if I still lived there. However, I make do with my circumstances and will more than happily traipse through a stream and slam the local bass and bream.
When I look at the photos on Instgram and dig around on Facebook and Google, there are lots of folks catching bigger fish and what also may be considered better fish. But I am more than eager to tie on a popping bug and catch a few slabs or warmouth and bluegills.
Yesterday, I found a stream full of fat slabs of panfish such as warmouth, bluegills and sunfish. The occasional bass was found . . . and a hole filled with gar and rough fish - YUCK! The stream I fished is one where I fish south where it joins a river. This time, I decided to hit the northern section of a stream where I usually find one or two vehicles parked at on the weekend.
I am sure that there are a lot of folks who would not characterize this stream as a quality fly fishing stream. I am also sure that there are even more folks that wouldn't dare think twice about wading this stream. It has suffered recently due to urban development. Developers aren't careful about maintaining a Riparian buffer. So, the banks collapse in and the stream becomes filled with more silt. The course of the stream changes and perhaps riffles and shallows occur where fish and the ecosystem are impacted because they become trapped in sections of streams - instead of moving freely within larger sections of water.
We all want quality fishing time but at what cost? It depends on the individual. I've tried and tried to push my father into warm water fly fishing. Occasionally, he will find someone with a stocked pond and do well with a bass bug. I remember going to a pond with him. Using a small custom tied fly, I landed a bass on my first cast. He landed nothing. I talk to him about wading streams and landing smallmouth. But the only thing I may have managed to persuade him to do is look for a kayak.
This year, I have changed it up between ponds, lakes and streams. I've done pretty good. And, I didn't have to drive 2 hours to do it.