November 16th, 1997
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories. . .
Editors Note: This story was first published in the July 1997 edition of
"Random Casts" the newsletter of the Fourth Corner Fly Fishers (4CFF) in Bellingham,
Washington. The author shall remain anonymous, but the fun and comradeship of the
club outing is evident in this true story. The story was then reprinted in the
October 1997 issue of "Covering the Drift" FFF Washington State Council
Archive of Readers Casts
It was my last evening of fishing at the Gustafsen Lake outing
for the 4CFF in B.C. Just having hooked and lost three Kamloops trout in close
succession, I was facing a bittersweet ending to the outing.
As daylight waned, I examined the moderately battered Tom Thumb
at the end of my tippet and decided it still had a little useful life left. Casting
out behind my pram, I began a slow row across the lake towards the lights of the
Last year it was either Tom, Dennis or Mike who told me of their
success in making this fly mimic the swimming action of the abundant traveling
sedges across the surface of water.
After rowing less than 50 yards, my piscatorial thoughts were
rudely interrupted. The bamboo rod that Lyle Hand had so carefully crafted for me
was lunging for the stern of the pram with attached reel whining in protest.
As I grabbed the rod and lifted it upwards, a nice Kamloops
trout went airborne about 40 feet behind my boat. I had 70 to 80 feet of line out
and began a rapid retrieve of the slack portion of my floating line just as the fish
made a major second jump to the right and closer to the boat. I was still stripping
in line when a third jump even closer in occurred.
The next thing I remember happening was seeing "Mr.Kamloops"
airborne at about eye level for the fourth jump, but heading right at me! With a
thud, he bounced off my chest and landed in my lap. My brain shifted into neutral
but by some involuntary reflex I opened my legs and deposited the aquatic kamikaze
onto the floor of the boat.
Being adequately surprised, (okay maybe we should call it
shocked) all I could think of was to take a quick picture. BIG MISTAKE! Before the
frame had been exposed, my foe had completely tangled my fly line and leader into a
less than artistic bird's nest.
In the fading light, I recall feeling for the leader and fly and
finding it blessedly absent from his mouth. After a quick comparison measurement
using my landing net as a reference, I placed this miniature missile back into the
water where upon he beat a hasty retreat to the lake bottom.
The family in the neighboring boat cruised over and asked me if
their eyes had been playing tricks on them in the dim light. I answered,
"Unfortunately no." Their eyes had not deceived them. They chuckled loudly and
roared off in the dark toward their camp.
With a flashlight, I began sorting out my line. I followed it
around the back of the boat, finally feeling the leader and tippet. Tracing it to
its end, I located the fly ... firmly hooked into the crotch of my pants! Of course
this is where the fish had deposited it. I rowed and laughed myself all the way back
My fishing compadres onshore finally knew what they had
suspected for quite awhile. I had gone off the deep end.
Reflections and afterthoughts:
Would anyone have believed me if there hadn't been a witness? I
think we can all answer with a resounding No!, considering the dubious
credibility of fisher types.
Why was I deprived of the glory (or satisfaction sounds better),
of a legal landing by this "Evil Knievel" of trout? This fish turned out to be over
23 inches, the length of the net, and was by far the best Kamloops I've ever caught
at Gus, weighting more than four pounds plus.
Could this be a nefarious plot by Gustafsen Lake fish in which
Mr. Kamloops was actually a hired "hit fish" paid to rub out a member of the 4CFF?
Or at least smear his reputation so he would be cast as the Rodney Dangerfield of
the fly fishing community?
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