My son and I were fishing a small stream that runs through town a few days ago. Most of the fish in this stream are small but they're a lot of fun on a 2-3wt fly rod or UL spinning rod. My son attempted to approach a spot that normally holds fish only to spook them. He told me that there were several trout darting back and forth in the hole but he said the biggest one wasn't a trout. I took a look and sure enough there were several 5-7" brown trout gathered around a mountain whitefish that was about twice their size. I tried several flies but they were spooked and not interested in feeding. The only fish I was really interested in was the whitefish. I've been thinking about it and planning my next strategy to catch the whitefish ever since. This got me thinking about the attitude most people have about whitefish and other fish many consider to be trash fish. Whitefish and trout are both in the salmonidae family. Though usually in different parts of the water column and often different parts of the stream whitefish feed on the same things trout feed on. I've caught whitefish on dry flies, nymphs, streamers and in-line spinners. When hooked whitefish fight in a similar way to brown trout and cutthroat trout, diving deep and rarely jumping. A few years ago while fishing the Big Hole River I found an outstanding run. I caught brown trout, brook trout, arctic grayling and whitefish on dry flies all in the same run. The two biggest fish of the trip were a tie caught within minutes of each other in the same run. One was a 17" brown trout and the other was a 17" mountain whitefish. Both were hooked on the same stimulator fly and both put up great fights on my 4wt rod. I was distracted when the brown took the fly and luckily he hooked himself. The whitefishes "porpoising" take is burned into my mind as some takes are. I was just as happy with the whitefish as I was with the brown. What really got me thinking about the "trash fish" mentality is a fly fishing show I recently watched on Amazon Prime. While fishing a small stream here in Montana the host hooks several very nice whitefish only to be disgusted when he realizes what he's fighting is a whitefish, not a trout. The fish put up a great fight and was released (although whitefish are delicious) so why should he be disappointed? Another "trash fish" I enjoy catching is carp. Many people experience the fight of their lives only to be disappointed to find out a carp is at the end of their line. I can't understand this mentality. Some of the longest runs and biggest grins I've experienced have been from carp. Over the last 20+ years some fly fisherman have come to realize how exciting carp fishing can be. The only other "trash fish" I have experience with is suckers. More than once I've tried to hook a sucker swimming past when nothing else was cooperating. Their fight might not be the greatest but its better than catching nothing. I rarely fish nymphs with indicators. I recall two times that I witnessed people catching suckers with a nymph under an indicator that had drifted into the shallows. I was excited for them. I try to catch as many species as possible with a fly and I've never caught a sucker on a fly rod. Neither of them shared my enthusiasm and both were disgusted by their catch. One thing to consider is than bonefish were once considered to be trash fish. Now people pay a lot of money for the opportunity to fish for them. Whitefish have more than a passing resemblance to bonefish. Carp are often referred to as rocky mountain bonefish since their feeding habits and challenge presented with flies are similar to bonefish. Sorry for the long rant. How many of you enjoy catching what many others consider to be "trash fish"?