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