The evening started out less than miraculous. I went out on my kayak looking for smallmouth, perch, rockbass, and carp. I found plenty of the first two.
To be honest I was disappointed that I hadn't been seeing carp. That was what I was most hoping for this outing. But then the weather and one of my favorite optical phenomena improved the out immensely.
The sunset was gorgeous too. It was after it that something incredible would occur.
When I'm moving between spots I like troll a streamer. Today it was a Shrimp Pink Ice Muddler with gold bead head. I caught a little perch and recast. By the time I got back to paddling I had drifted back towards the fly. As soon as the line straightened I realized something was hooked. I assumed immediately that is was a rock. Then I felt the steady thumps of a big fish shaking it's head. I thought to myself "how did I manage to get a fly right in front of a carp in water this deep?". I continued to believe it was a carp right up until I saw it. This was a big, powerful fish. It ran a few times, peeling line off the reel in a way I would not expect from most fresh water fish. When I got myself onto a sand bar where I could properly fight the fish I noticed it's behavior. A little odd, not what I'd expect from a carp. It was running back and forth slowly but powerfully on the shore. then it rolled on the surface. In the fading light I saw glimpses that made me curious. When I got it close enough to tail I just about crapped my pants.
A ten pound channel catfish is far and away the last thing I expected to see on the end of my line. I could not believe how big it was. Long and with girth to spare. The whiskers and prominent lateral line explained the ability of this lake monster to detect my fly as it sank to the bottom. I the darkness of twilight I released the fish and watched it swim quickly into the depths. The magnitude of the event did not hit me until a few seconds later. The people living alongside the lake must have wondered what was going on as I whooped and hollered in my excitement. I have for a long time wanted to land a big catfish. I was even ready to target them with bait. Then one somehow found my fly in the dark and gave me a story I will remember for the rest of my life.