Sunday, June 7, 2009

Troutenfreude ©

As those of you following this blog probably know, I am currently out of the country. If from these most recent posts it appears I have spent a good portion of the last week flying from place to place in China, you would be accurate.

It is a most unfortunate time to be out of the upper midwest, where I fish. The streams heading north from Chicago now have a cascading set of fly fishing opportunities, starting in the U.P. where the march browns are on, Northern Wisconsin where the sulfers are in full swing, Brown drakes in the driftless, and at the southern end of the driftless and the most southern sand county streams the hex will be starting in the next week or so. Of course, Caddisflies can be found hatching through this region at any time. Even people who notoriously do not catch fish, can catch trout at this time of year. It might be said that this is the moment, the time, when if you are fly fisher, you look forward to it all year. The time when, as a trout fisher, it is all going on, all available, all ready to fished.

And I am on a business trip for two weeks in China.

Hence, troutenfreude ©; “Philosopher and sociologist Theodor Adorno defined troutenfreude © as “largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another fly fisher who is not catching trout which is cognized as trivial and/or appropriate.”

Across the intertubes everyone is posting sparkling reports of hatches experienced and trout caught like the millions of stars illuminating the wilderness northern sky at night.
Fortunately there are dark spots.

My brother remained at the cabin for an additional two weeks after my nine year old and I left. He is not a flyfisher of any real ability, basically he can slap a streamer in a sort of crappy roll cast and do the quartering down and across streamer drift. He was taken to one of my favorite locations by my cousin, which I haven’t been able to get to yet this year. This particular river is at the lower end of a large central UP watershed. It was irritating to me that he had the time to go, and I did not.

Despite there being trout jumping and flopping all over the place he caught no fish.
It seemed only right to me.

You there on that famous Pierce county stream seeing trout dimpling everywhere on the Darth Vader hatch with no results; hahahahaha.

Up there in Lincoln County, went out for sn evening hatch but the cold snap only had 3 drakes on the water and no fish ? serves you right.

There I've done it.

troutenfreude © copyright 2009 – Harlan Wallach – all rights reserved


  1. I really sould just stay here until I catch something.

  2. "He is not a flyfisher of any real ability... Despite there being trout jumping and flopping all over the place he caught no fish. It seemed only right to me." - HDW

    You neglect to point out that cousin MK (who guided me on the river in question and is an accomplished flyfisher with a history on said river that rivals your own) also failed to catch any fish during the trout rise frenzy we observed up close and personal. Yes, he caught one random undersized brown upstream earlier, but after trying 15 different flies, was equally frustrated with determining exactly on what bugs these finicky trout were choosing to dine at that moment.