Friday, March 15, 2013

Don't Be a Hater - Letter From a Whitefish

Got this in my inbox the other day, thought I would share it with everyone. 

Dear fly fishermen (and women),

It's your friendly neighborhood Mountain Whitefish here.  Scientific name, Prosopium williamsoni.  I know some of you anglers might not think too much of us.  You might consider us to be bottom feeders, a nuisance, and even a trash fish!  None of these things are true.  Did you know we are native to most western rivers, just like your beloved cutthroats?  Did you know we also like to eat dry flies on occasion?  Did you also know that strong populations of mountain whitefish are signs of a healthy river?  Hey, I'm just here to set the record straight. 

So, don't be a hater.

Transparent gill plate. Kinda cool eh?

Some folks call us the Rocky Mountain Bonefish.  Not sure how to take that.  I've never met a bonefish after all.  By the name, it doesn't sound like they would be good eating.  Us on the other hand are pretty darn delicious smoked.  I didn't just say that did I?  You know maybe people should start calling bonefish the tropical, salt water whitefish.  Just sayin'. 

Ain't no cutthroat, but ain't to bad to look at either, right?

Yes I know we're easy to catch, sometimes too easy.  It's not our fault we can't pass up anything with a gold bead and peacock herl on it.  Hey if trout were this easy to catch would you be complaining? 

Didn't think so


Yes I know most folks don't think we're the prettiest fish out there.  That's not our fault.  I also know that we're a little scaly, slimy, and give your hands and net a bit of a funk, so what?  Don't blame us, blame evolution. 


So next time you want to curse us when you spot a whitefish attached to your fly just remember, would you rather catch nothing?  On second thought don't answer that. 

What I'm trying to say is: All we want is a little respect, maybe a little care when you release us.  Please don't throw, drop, squeeze, kick, or toss us around.  Don't we deserve a little better?  Whitefish are native after all, and we eat your stupid flies.  With enthusiasm I might add.

Please.  Don't be a hater.


The Whitefish         

Friendly Face.


  1. White fish are an fun fish to catch. I think we have been so programmed to think that rainbow trout and brown trout are the prime fish species, but what is more important, a healthy river system or pictures on your fb page. I am delighted to catch whitefish every chance I get. You know what they say about white fish? White fish can't jump. Well, I love the bull dogging and muscle battles that I get into with whiteys! Great post!

    1. Thanks for the great comments Spencer. Oh, and yesterday I had a whitefish go air born just like a rainbow would. I guess maybe they can jump!

  2. Have to admit that I have "enjoyed" many a day being satisfied in catching a bunch of "Whities', Stiffies, Rocky Mountain Bonefish, Smokies, JYD's (Junk Yard Dogs), etc. Fun times in winter when fishing is slower. Nymph fishing with Beadheads!

    1. I agree Mel. They have saved the day on many occasions!

  3. If it is gonna take my fly Im gonna enjoy it! Great Post!