Find Your Water

I read an interesting article recently that used a term I hadn’t ever heard of before.  The author calls it “blue lining”.

Intrigued by the title of the article, I soon realized that I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Blue lining is exploring in places where there isn’t easy access to the water in the drainage, in pursuit of wild trout.  Instead of driving to your destination, you drive as far as you can, and then you follow the blue lines on the map.  These blue lines are of course water.

Often times these blue lines don’t even have a name.  And some blue lines may have never have been fished, or only fished rarely.  Just look at how many blue lines there are on the map below!

So what does this mean to you?

It means that if you’re up for doing some blue lining, you just might find yourself in a place I like to call Trout Heaven.

Do I follow the blue lines every weekend?  Of course not, but when your favorite local rivers are blown out, or the flows too low, you have to make the best of the situation.  You need to find water that’s clear, fishable, and holds fish, no matter what it takes to get there.

It’s true that blue lining can be difficult fishing, particularly access.  But that’s part of the adventure, right?!

Here are my Top Eight Reasons to Blue Line:

  1. It’s an adventure every time, and adventures are what fly fishing is all about.  You never know what you might get in to.
  2. You won’t see anybody else fishing where you’re going.  Pure, unadulterated wilderness.
  3. Finding new water that fishes well, even if it’s tough to get to, is quite rewarding.
  4. Fish aren’t usually as picky when they rarely or never see a fly.
  5. Wild, native trout, are my favorite to catch.
  6. There CAN be BIG fish in smaller water if the aquatic insect life is there to support bigger fish.  Ask me how I know.
  7. If there aren’t bigger fish, there maybe be a lot of small to medium sized fish eager to take a fly.  Still a lot of fun.
  8. When successful, you’ve found a remote place that nobody else knows about.  A new addition to your “secret spots” list.

If you like adventure, I think you’ll find the above eight reasons compelling enough to try blue lining.

So get out there and find YOUR water.  It’s rewarding, adventurous, and fun to scout out new places.  Sure, you might strike out and find that there’s no fish, or worse yet, no water.  But keep looking…  it’s not about the destination, but the journey.

And when you find that new special place, keep it under your hat.  There’s nothing worse than finding someone pulling trout out of your favorite honey hole after hiking miles to get there!

In part two of the Find Your Water series, I will cover best practices and how to prepare for your next adventure that follows the blue lines.

Until then, tight lines.

Chief Angler, Fly Fishing Authority

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