Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Good and the Bad
Fished the Gallatin today with a couple of guys that haven't done much fly-fishing and never for trout. The water is in great shape there at the moment, still a little high to get them on the rip raps, but overall the fish have been hungry. We had to work at it a little more than usual but still managed a great day overall and ended up with this fish which was closer to 25 than 24...measured and 6 pounds weighed. Weighed? Yes.
Not sure what happened but the fish literally died in my hands. It was a little traumatic as I've only seen a couple wild rainbows that big in SW Montana. By wild I mean not a pond, not a pond escapee, not a "spring creek", not a lake fish, and not a lake fish on the spawn in a stream ,and not from the glory days of the Beaverhead. It was a good fight, long runs, but not overly long and we got it to the net quickly. I pulled the boat over for a few pics, keeping the fish in the water between shots the whole time.
As I went to release it, it just died. I was trying ti figure out what to do in my head as the clients really didn't know what the hell was going on as they had just got a huge fish and were excited to let it go...so I put it in my cooler and we kept fishing. It wasn't like the fish was probably going to die...it was straight up dead. Must have been stress in some form I guess, but thought we did everything properly. I've caught lots of fish in much warmer water and longer fights and they've been fine...so this one kind of really sucked. Needless to say, it was a very memorable day, saw a big Bull Moose down near Headwaters too.
I ended up giving the fish to my ex-wife as her husband loves trout. It ate a worm by the way.