Thursday, January 05, 2012

The fish

winner winner chicken dinner on Thompson Creek at the MZ
2011 was a challenging year in terms of water conditions...understatement. It was the first year in awhile that I didn't see anything over 24" to the boat, but probably landed more 23" fish than I ever have before. Not sure which one was actually the biggest, honestly it was one that my client dropped right while I was getting ready to make the click and he had already landed one over 23" that day.

The biggest trout I saw all year was hooked up by one of our clients that was fishing with Rick on the Blackfoot. Rick was just ahead of me going down a run and his angler hooked an enormous Brown that we all got a really good look at. It was every bit of 8lbs, maybe more. It was SO big that I told my client to get his rig out of the water even though we were 50' behind them. Anyway, he had it on for awhile and it just came unbuttoned. Craziest part of that day was that I had floated the same stretch just a few days earlier and managed to boat maybe 5 fish, but this day the fish were going ape shit for zonkers and we landed over 80 fish between the 3 boats and both boats landed Bull, Cutties, Brook, Brown, Bows, and the mighty whitey with a few fish landed in the 22-23 range.
Take Out fish on the Blackfoot after a Crazy Day
What could've been is what keeps us coming back. I'll never forget my first truly big fish and the heartache that came when I lost it. I was maybe 10 or 12 and my grandparents took me to our family lake house in East Texas one weekend. We were having some work done on the boat dock and there were a bunch of rednecks working away and yammerring along. I threw a huge willow bladed, double hook, white spinner bait out and WHAM! Had the fish for awhile but I was standing on a cement retaining wall and the water was about 3-4 feet down from the top. I got the fish to the base of the wall and then the guys realized that I actually had something big on. They were hollering at me to wait a second but I tried to hoist the fish up the wall with the rod. The bass was a 7-8 pound fish and it's mouth was so big I was terrified to stick my hand down and grab it. But, as I didn't want to look like a puss, I decided to try to do it my way rather than wait for help. Needless to say, the line snapped about an inch from the top of the wall and as one of the guys was reaching to grab it. 30 years later and I still have that sick feeling when I think about that fish swimming around with a 3/8 oz double bladed, double hook spinnerbait in it's mouth. Nah, I'm sick because I lost the fish...I should bass fish more.

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