It's been an odd summer for me, a conundrum of work and obligations, bad weather and high water. I haven't had a lot of time to fish (see the Jealousy Counter in the side-bar, you won't feel sorry for me) but you know something, it's been quality.
First of all, I started this blog the end of January, and thanks to you all it has been a great success, in my opinion. Last week this site became a dot com, which feels like an accomplishment. No you won't have to re-set your links.
Then, my steelhead season was brief but enjoyable.
|hey, self-portraiture is tough|
I caught my first smallmouth on a fly.
I got my biggest brook trout ever, on a fly.
|16"+ of fontinalis love|
Then I did my first bit of flats stalking this year and got my first carp ever on a fly.
I got to fish with Cameron Mortenson of The Fiberglass Manifesto a couple of weeks ago.
My first magazine article was published in The Cedar Sweeper magazine, and last week I got to fish with publisher Chuck Sams and company. In what was one of the greatest oversights in history I didn't get a photo with Chuck.
Then, on Friday night, this happened.
Night fishing is my absolute favorite thing (I have an article coming out on the subject soon). I haven't had nearly enough time to go out and do it. I missed all of the hex hatch. Several times I was out fishing with other people that I wanted to get fish and didn't fish much myself, or at all. So when I went Friday, I just hoped to get one decent fish over 20", maybe even a 24". But this one blows the doors off.
That's right- 28 inches, 8 pounds, all mean. Let me head off some questions right here. I caught him on River X with my buddies Y and Z. I'll just say I caught him North of US 10 and south of the bridge. I got him on a size 24 trico at 6 in the morning using 6x tippet and my ancient bamboo 5 wt. I also have some real estate in Libya to sell ya. I don't mean to come across mean spirited, just don't ask. It was a great fish, one that could take years to repeat or beat, if ever. That's probably a lifetime fish. I'll share what I can of the story at a later date. I will say that I got that fish on a fly of my own design that I had tied that day trying to fix some design flaws in my other flies. Very, very satisfying.
I know that everything I'm sharing may smack of a little chest-thumping, and for that I apologize. It's just that you've heard me do a lot of sniveling about work lately, but thinking about this fish made me realize that I've really had a remarkable year. So I'll shut up now.
Here's a link to the release video- please forgive the lame music, I had to get it up fast and let Youtube choose it at random.
I will never, EVER, forget the sound of that take, the initial shock of the hook-up, the sheer weight of the fish, the jumps, the shouting, frantically trying to get 12 feet of line back on the reel in the dark, the moment we kicked the lights on and realized how monstrous this thing was, the maneuvering around the lumber, and finally putting hand to a truly, large, brown. The addiction just got worse.
I think I'll go to work now.