New Hook Shots: Trout Lessons From the Mealie Master

A few months ago I wrote a column called "The Mealie Master" about a fisherman in Connecticut named Matt Wettish. He, like most of us, started out bait fishing for trout, then graduated to fly. What sets him apart, however, is that once he mastered fly, he went right back to bait. Wettish, you see, lives and dies by meal worms, which he believes are the best widely-available bait that match everything from inch worms to stoneflies. He has spent years refining his gear to achieve the perfect drift under any conditions, and argues that his ultra-light technique is more effective than anything else. The Farmington River met us with flood stage flows, and though I might have started out a skeptic, I wasn't after about 20 minutes on the raging river. I can say with confidence drifting nymphs wouldn't have produced 1/4 the amount of fish we caught in 2 days...and that's coming from a diehard fly guy.