No Spray Zone

I am totally used to it in climbing—individuals, usually dudes that feel they have some superior knowledge that simply has to be shared with the rest of us. We call it spray. It is usually unsolicited prolific beta on how to climb a route, given with a discernible dose of “you’ll never figure it out unless I help you.” The worst spray shower I experienced was a group of climbers on Potash Road outside of Moab that saw our Oklahoma license place and started spraying us with “maybe you should consider a different route” and other equally unhelpful info. And for the record, the best way for a chick to end the spray fest is to go do the route YOUR way! The thing is true climbers realize that no route is one size fits most. Spray isn’t just annoying, it is totally unnecessary.

Imagine my surprise then last Saturday on the shoreline of Snowmass Lake when a very loud, obnoxious voice shouts down “hey there’s a really big rainbow right there!” We were almost nine miles into the wilderness and we encountered our first fishing spray monkey. A frustrated spin-caster was closer to the alleged large trout and was forced to endure the taunting of the monkey – “cast a little more left,” “oh that was so close”, and “he’s coming for it, wait, no he didn’t like it, what else do you have for bait.” I swear I saw a thought bubble above the fisher guy contemplating casting his lure at the monkey on high.

The trout, not a rainbow, was not to be caught. After the monkey and the spin-caster gave up on each other I moved into the spot. A few casts into the tranquility and the trout was intrigued. The cutt took a curious nibble at my fly and gave me a quick tug of acknowledgement, but didn’t stick on my line. I was more than okay with that. I saw her, briefly, and am pretty sure she was just glad the ruckus was over.

The scene of the spray down. Snowmass Lake.
The scene of the spray down. Snowmass Lake.

I can understand the excitement of spying a beautiful trout swimming in perfectly clear alpine water. I get it. But fishing is a quiet individual pursuit, please hold your spray.


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