Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hot Day/Hot Fishing: Fish #4

As "eager" as FISH #3 was, FISH #4 was the exact opposite. If #3 was struggling to get his GED in catch avoidance, FISH #4 guy was working on his post-Doc. Shy, suspicious, perhaps even clever, this big brown tested my patience and resolve. It took me almost an hour from the time I sighted him finning next to a dark cutback, to the time I landed him and took a few photos.

On my first cast my fly drifted oh so enticingly along the long grassy cutback. Mid-drift, #4 rose slowly, then suspended under my hopper. He watched it from six inches away vertically drifting under my fly for 6-7 feet before turning away. After this amazing inspection, I again sat dow, switched flies and stood up to try again.

This time, the big brown rose, then slowly pushed up to delicately balance my fly on his nose. I did not strike. I have seen this before, but only from brown trout and only from big brown trout. It has taken me dozens of years to discipline myself not to strike when a brown trout performs this type of extreme examination. 

After this last display, I again put myself in "time out" and changed my fly yet again. I eventually drifted another big hopper down his feeding lane. This time, the trout surrounded my fly with his mouth, but he did not close it. He floated this way for a few feet before turning away. He never ate and I never striked. We were now involved in a classic game of cat and mouse and he was testing me. I knew if I struck, I would never see this fish again. So after this drift, it was back to "time out".

I waited a good 15 minutes before trying again. On my next cast, the big trout again suspended under my fly keeping a good 8 inches between my fly and his mouth. After a few seconds, I traced a small circle with the tip of my rod which moved the hopper a few inches. This was too much for my guy. He immediately powered up, opened his mouth and confidently ate my fly. I struck when the white of his mouth disappeared. He was on and he was very pissed! He raced upstream, jumped, then powered downstream pronging on the water's surface repeatedly. After this extended display of pure frustration and anger, he soon became docile and in his exhausted state, was easily landed. I suspect he will never take a fly again. This fish was just too bright. 
I congratulated him on his talents and wished him well as I released him. I suspect, I will never see him again. He will learn from this and I'm sure will never eat a fly again.  


  1. Now that's more like it! Thanks for taking us along on that ride!

  2. Anyone who catches as many big trout as you have deserves to be put in "time out". A long one.

  3. Thanks Erik… your prompting got me going!

  4. Come fish with me Doug… we'l take a different kind of "time out"
    than the one you are thinking about.