Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee- July 25, the Year Thus Far edition

Why must I torture myself like this?  Four night trips in a week, and now it's time to start this all over again?  Must needs coffee some.  No, let me pour.  Is that good?

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.


  1. pure awesome~ thanks for sharing!! CONGRATULATIONS!! you can see it in your eyes- EPIC SWAMP DONKEY>>> Tight Lines,

  2. Holy. Effing. Shit. Beautiful. :).

  3. Good job Jason. These moments truly do change us and cement our deep love for the sport and for the land we live in. Congratulations!

  4. Congratulations....on it all! It's great seeing hard work paying off. Keep on keeping on...

    And now I need more coffee.

  5. DUDE... Great looking fish. You earned the chest thumping. That is a great story. Congrats on a fabulous fish.


  6. Don't slow down now!
    Very, very nice fish Jason.

  7. GOOD. GOD. And I don't even believe in him/her/it. Awesome fish, great post. Congrats!

  8. I've said it before, and I'll say it one more time: Hog Johnson! Congrats, Jason!

    P.S. Great article in the CSM

  9. Whoah. What a fish... a monster. Congrats!!

  10. WOW! Just....WOW! Congrats on that humongous monkey of a fish!

  11. Way to go Jason! Remember you are having a quality year by all you have accomplished.

  12. Thank you all for stopping in and saying hi, I appreciate your support and I'm glad I can share this adventure with you. Your comments and encouragement mean more to me than all the big fish in the world.

  13. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That Brown, WOW!!!! Excellent. Still not sure if I am more impressed with the Brown or the Brook. That Brookie swims around in my dreams every night :) Tight Lines.

  14. Holy #@$! that's a big fish! Well done. Night fishing creeps me out (and I like sleeping). But maybe mousing on my favorite tailwater is the way to go....

  15. do you hear that? that's the sound of my jealousy bellows all the way from montana. what a beaut.

  16. After that pig, the rest of the year will be all downhill... right?
    I think that fish should replace or at least reformat the jealousy counter. Just put that picture in its place with a counter that tallies how many times the rest of us look at it with jealousy.

  17. @Trout Magee- I think I'm kind of with you man. I saw a 38" brown in one of the local creeks years ago, but those big brookies are rare. Check out the photos of Rivers North Guide Service, he has pics of brookies in the UP measured in pounds.
    @Steve Zakur- it took over a year to get used to the night thing- I solo fish all the time now, but that creepy feeling still comes back.
    @Ivan- I hear ya man, and I'm the director of the choir.
    @Jay- fall Kings, September brookies, streamer fishing and November steelhead are yet to come. What is an angler to do? I am amped for the rest of the season. I'm still looking forward to reading about your adventures here.

  18. @CVH- thanks for commenting on my article. More to come. I'm going to publish it here, once the next issue comes out.

  19. This post was perfect for my Thursday morning coffee...well done, and can't wait to see what the second half of your year looks like! The brown is awesome, but I will admit, that fontinalis is something else :-)