OK, first and foremost, I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. I did... and the food was wonderful as always.
Today was cloudy, a little warmer than the day before, and very calm... just the kind of pickerel and walleye weather I'd been waiting for. Despite the perfect conditions, it took y a while to get a grab. When I saw the fish come to the surface I wasn't surprised to see what it was: a large yellow perch. This is perhaps the best time of year to catch big pond perch.
About a half our and a few more perch later, I got the most ridiculous tangle I've ever had. It took me the rest of my remaining time to undo it. I figured I was owed a big fish for having to put up up with tangle zilla, so I decided to do a late evening trip back to the pond. I normally do not night fish this time of year, but I thought it could produce a big walleye. After an hour I was not entirely sure. I fished a chartreuse woolly bugger for most of the time, then switched to a larger fly hoping that at least a decent bass would take it. The bug of choice: Mike Schmidt's Maraceiver. I fished that fly until well after the sun had set, fan-casting a rocky ledge area and a flat of dying weeds with some deep pot holes. I was getting cold, and after 40 casts and not a touch, I was ready to give up. I made that one last cast and began retrieving the line. I worked the fly with the rod tip as I reeled, because you really never know...
And of course, as I got towards the end of my very last retrieve of the day, one that was not really meant to catch a fish, the maraceiver got absolutely crumpled. After a frantic fight, I tailed a very fat 26 inch walleye and promptly lost my mind. Why? How? BIG FISH! I mean... jeez. I've experienced the "last cast phenomena" many times but never to this degree. I usually fish out my last cast to make it the best possible chance for me to get a bite. This time I has just screwing around and thinking "yeah ya just never know". After more than three weeks of annoyingly cruddy warm water and saltwater fly fishing, the fish gods threw me a bone. I was jumping and hollering on the bank. the moment her tail kicked and she swam off.