My biggest fish to date? I’ve never dated a fish…. Hah! I should probably leave the joking to someone who’s actually funny…
But! Looking back at the fish I’ve caught I remember a lot of them, if not most of them. And as any fellow fisherman can attest, I remember the ones I missed out on. A few however will always hold a special place in my heart, and my mind- with snapshots of watching them take my fly, letting them run, or finally reeling them in. I seduced them with my casting, my flies like a buttercream frosted birthday cake floating through the water enticingly decorated in sprinkles, waiting for the taking- they couldn’t resist. I coerced them into my hands where I could gaze upon and admire their wild mysterious bodies before letting them go. There’s a few fish that come to mind as I write this, one rainbow lady in particular. My first fish is definitely up there- be sure to check out my post with that awesome story. Each, equally as important in my fly fishing history.
The biggest fish I have ever caught still makes me giddy like a school girl when I think of it. We were lucky enough to be fishing some private water. The property was amazing, beyond anything we had fished since we moved up here, and we were just soaking it all in. I was practicing casting with a string of flies tied on and getting frustrated with my lack of luck so far. There were fish in here, big fish and I wanted to prove to myself that I could make a big catch. The wind was proving almost impossible and Josh was basically up a tree trying to get his line untangled. I saw a pool I wanted to cast into and went ahead upstream a few more paces: Downtrodingly thinking to myself, “I’m getting good at casting but not good at catching any darn fish.” I kept at it, thinking that I must have put any fish in there down with how many times I put my flies in there but it would be good practice because it was a tough angle- Josh was still fighting the tree so why not. Boom! Just like that ! My top fly bobbed a bit. I set and it definitely wasn’t the bottom. It felt strong, wiggly and it was fighting back. “I got a fish,” I said casually enough because I was still shocked myself. Josh climbed down into the creek, “What?! No way ?!” And as he got a net ready to help land my catch we saw how my 3 weight was bending as effortlessly as a twizzler. When we first saw the shadow of the fish, we looked at each other and couldn’t believe it! Oh my God it’s huge! We were frantic, Josh wrestling to get the net off his pack and scoop this lady up. I hadn’t let her run too much for pure fear she’d break off in the rocks and riffles surrounding us. I knew that this fish was as good as fiction until we could get her into the net!
In all our excitement I’m still surprised we held it together! I was in shock! My smile was beaming and toothy and overly squinty all at the same time, but I could feel it swelling over from within! I didn’t even know how to hold a fish this big. Where to put my second hand? Oh no what if she started to flop around and escape before we got a picture ?! As I took the hook out of her mouth I looked her over- something had blinded her in one eye. That must be why the poor thing had taken its sweet time going for my fly! She was much heavier, stronger, just better than any fish we had caught since moving to Colorado. I was so proud of this lovely lady, and still in disbelief. I held her like the trophy she was for a picture and will forever have her in my mind !