Late April 2018
The ice on the bog crackled under my boots.
I hurried. I was excited. Yesterday I had only caught 3 fish but 2 were measured in feet (as in more than 2…) and the 3rd was a fat 22-23 inches. All beautiful browns. The wily ones. The ones we dream about.
I had been working hard. Figuring out where and when they were willing to eat my streamer in the high dirty water. I had been crushing it with nymph rigs but i wanted that tight line grab—swinging or stripping. I wanted to tempt Mister Big Brown Trout to come out swinging and I was dialing it in. Getting closer. The tape on my burned stripping fingers testified.
I kind of wished I had a client here to put him on a fish of a lifetime. But, I was alone. I like to fish alone, to hike or paddle through the bent lines, to utter no word, to see no other human animal, non verbal communication.
I was heading for a spot. A specific spot I had fished yesterday. I wondered if the fish was still there. I threw in here and there on the hike in but i knew it was a little early and I didn’t try very hard. I wanted to time it just right. I knew i would likely only have one chance.
Yesterday I had brought the Trucha almost to my feet. A Big fish. As you know I had caught several big fish that day to compare it to… (not to diminish my earlier participants.). He had appeared out of nowhere just as i was ending my retrieve and almost to cast again, slashed at the fly and i promptly yanked it away from him.
Truthfully, he scared me! My heart pounded and I swore. (Verbally). I immediately began to parse through my brain, scheming on what was the best next move. In retrospect, after seeing many of these big fish eat again immediately given the chance, I should have slapped it right back at him. It works, sometimes…This fish had seen me though I’m quite sure. I slunk back from the edge and waited for an appropriate interval (?).
I tied on a different colored streamer and said a prayer. I cast quartering up and threw a mend to get it down, perfect. I came tight to the bug just as i imagined it was about 2 feet (a good number) in front of where I imagined him to be. A big bright yellow flash lit up the water where all this imagining had happed. I held my breath and kept stripping but there was no weight…