|The only smallmouth all day.|
Then, staring into the clear water, I saw a beast. It was a holdover brown, as big as any I have ever seen. Even on a cloudy day I doubted that fish would eat anything. Yet I had to try. It isn't every day you get a shot at a trout big enough to make you go cross eyed and drool like a Saint Bernard. I tried a midge pupa, a stone fly nymph. They didn't get so much as a peek.
Of course, what is the next best option? An articulated streamer the size of the bass I had caught not a 30 minutes ago. I chucked it in front of that fish three times. I checked the time. It was about time to leave. It started to rain. The swing passed the big fish. He turned. My heart stopped. There was a big white flash of trout mouth. Then all hell broke loose.
The fish screamed past me towards the head of the pool, in the process getting a yard or so into my backing. I ran upstream, hoping I could keep him out of the sharp rocks. After violent head shakes the trout ran back downstream, past where I hooked it. After that last run the fish tired out. I now was tasked with chasing him down to tail him. It took a while, but eventually the trout shoved his face in between two rocks. I reached down to grab him, and found a tail to big to get my whole hand around. Luckily after I grabbed the fish it didn't struggle. That Brown was enormous, probably in the upper twenty inch range. I photographed him, then took my time releasing it to admire its size and colors. He left with a good, strong kick.