April 10th, 2006

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Mad River Madness
By Eric Austin

I loved Jim's article on losing the big fish.

It reminded me of a couple of Septembers ago, when I was coming off my best day ever on the Mad River here in Ohio.

This was the following weekend, and I was having another good one. I had just released a large (18") female that was the single fattest brown I've ever caught. She was so laden with eggs she gave up very quickly.

I went back up to my magic spot again hoping for one more good fish, and I saw this huge male porpoiseing out there. I knew there was an even bigger fish in the area than the 21" brown I had gotten the week before, and here he was.

I think my pulse was at a cool 200 beats per minute as I dropped my #20 parachute BWO with a #24 Midge Pupa trailer over him.

All of a sudden, my indicator fly started going the wrong direction. I panicked completely and gave the rod the old heave ho. He was going north, my rod was going south, and you know the rest.

I nearly suffered cardiac arrest, and just had to laugh. I was shaking, laughing, crying, all the while reeling in the nothing that I was now sporting on the end of my leader. It was quite a thrill, not catching that fish, believe me.

I had scouted that spot all year, and that was the second time I had a go at that fish. The first time, during a nice Hendrickson hatch, he came up just long enough to laugh at my Red Quill. That was the only refusal I had on that fly that season. Good fish.

Hope you're able to get out some and fish a bit. Really enjoying the articles. ~ Eric Austin

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