The one… FOUR that got away!!
First off – I have to give a shout out and big THANK YOU to The Hatch Fly Shop, their shop manager Kenny Galvin and my hilarious and patient guide Scott Thompson for the absolutely epic and amazing fly fishing weekend!!
I had a guide trip planned for Saturday. I didn’t really know what to expect. This was my 4th trip out since I took up fly fishing up in August, so the only thing I knew for certain was that there was a 100% chance of me learning something new!
I arrived at the shop at 7:30 and met my guide – Scott Thompson. He turned out to be a real class act ~ a great personality – patient and also funny as all get out. He asked what kind of fishing I was looking for. I decided that after the last 3 weekends it was time to hook into some real BIG fish. He said he had the perfect spot….and he couldn’t have been more right. What an adventure it turned into.
I’m not exactly sure what direction we headed – we were too busy laughing and talking it up. We hiked and bushwhacked for awhile and got to a pretty little section on the river. Scott set up my rod and went over some casting techniques. We also roll-played some scenarios of how to set and ‘play’ a big fish if I were to actually hook into one.
We got in the water. We were using a method with 3 flies and an indicator. This was the first time I had fished with an indicator – so I found it to be a little different and more challenging than what I was used to with just the dry flies. I tried my hand at some casting and learned to ‘mend the line’ – all new techniques, so I was excited to be learning!
Scott started to look around and try to spot fish. He was pretty sure he spotted what appeared to be a ‘pretty big one’ in a seam area coming off some rocky water. He instructed me where to cast to have my line float down past this fish and give me the best chance of hooking onto it. After what seemed about 4 casts – I got the chance to SET THE HOOK – and WHOA – it felt like I had snagged into a moving log! This Rainbow was huge. Definitely the fish of a lifetime. In these situations I definitely recommend getting the best fishing sling pack you can find.
Luckily she was pretty nice to me. My heart was pounding – adrenaline was rushing. I took a deep breath – Scott had mentioned to me something about that earlier. I let her run once or twice and I managed to keep tension on the line and get her steadily over to the shoreline. I had her in inches deep water, in the sand, at Scott’s feet – when….
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS HAPPENED
- a) the tip of my rod was brushing up against a tree – so keeping tension was proving to be difficult
- b) Scott reached down with the net and she somehow darted to the side and as that happened, I must have not had enough tension on and the hook slipped out
AND SHE WAS GONE
She was a solid 24-25″, 7-8lb massive Rainbow. I’ll never forget that moment, the imagery of looking down and seeing that there was in fact, a ginormous fish on the end of my line. The sheer weight, the rod bent over – pure muscle & strength. Crazy – nothing like it!!
Even though I don’t have a picture – Scott says I need to count that as landing a big fish. I hooked her, I fought her all the way up – I totally had her – and then she got away. ;(
What do you think? Does it ‘count’ if I didn’t touch the fish? Does it count if I didn’t get the picture?