New Book Reveals Keys to Trophy Trout in Stillwaters
By Gary Lewis
He is kneeling in shallow, wind-riffled water, holding a trout that, soon, he will let free. Laugh-lines crinkle at the corners of his eyes as he squints against the morning sun. Water is dripping from the fish's broad shoulders and hooked lower jaw. A pale rainbow stripes the spotted flanks. The infectious smile on Denny's face speaks volumes.
To most of us, a 12 pound trout comes once in a lifetime, but the look on his face says that Denny Rickards cannot wait to put that fish back in so he can catch another one.
He bills his book Flyfishing Stillwaters for Trophy Trout as the breakthrough fly-fishing system that teaches you how to consistently catch tough trophy trout in western lakes. This is no idle claim.
Thirty years of fishing and studying large trout from above and below the water have allowed Rickards to become an authority on the subject. The truly big trout, let's call these the 4 to 20 pound fish, are the ones that most anglers only dream about. Fish that you have to take a floatplane to or pay big money to catch on private waters. But the reality is that these "fish of a lifetime" are available in public waters that you can reach in the family station wagon. They just require more stealth and cunning than the average size trout. It's not that these fish have grown ultra-selective in what they feed on. They just feed on what gives the most protein for the least energy expended and they don't take anything that appears unnatural.
Catching the big ones, Denny says, can be factored down to six key functions. These are: tackle selection, choice of fly, casting, the ability to locate fish, knowing when to fish and presentation. His book teaches all that, plus such subtleties as what types of water hold big fish and where the lead should be wrapped on a pattern and why it should be fished different in the spring than in the summer.
Incredibly, he has boiled down his trout fly rotation to six main patterns. Patterns that have been refined to match no particular insect or minnow but to be suggestive, imitating a variety of creatures just by varying presentations. Full color photos show these flies and are accompanied by tying instructions.
Rickards' stillwater system gives you the edge to make catching bigger trout more consistent and gives you the opportunity to catch that "fish of a lifetime" on a regular basis.
You can buy Rickards' book online for $34.95. This is a beautiful and well-crafted book. The color photos are worth the cover price. If you buy it for the pictures alone, it will make a nice addition to your coffee table. Should you read it, and you should, it will probably end up dog-eared and trout-slimed on the bottom of your canoe.
In Chapter 9, Denny says, "Consistent big fish success takes time, patience, education, and a willingness to fish when other anglers have given up the hunt."
"To feel the jolt of one of these huge fish, to just see them hanging in the air pinned to your line by a tiny hook, to have the satisfaction of knowing that if there is a fish in the water that is remotely interested in food, you can catch that fish - that makes it all worthwhile."