Battle Poudre '09 rages on.
How much fun did I have today? Too much.
First, let's get the obligatory fish photo out of the way. 'Course it's a beauty, so take a few moments to admire it, if you like.
A lot of fishermen brag about nailing a monster on their first cast of the day. I'll brag about landing this one on the last cast of the day.
I was a frustrated fisherman after about five hours on the water. I'd hooked - and lost - three monsters, all the result of my own impatience, incompetence, and outright stupidity.
I played the first for about a minute before he ran. I panicked and stopped his run. Gone. I let out a long, primal yell, somewhere between excitement and frustration. My more mature fishing partner laughed and shook his head at his son's gaffe. I can't be certain, but I think it might have been the biggest trout I've ever had on line, at least since I was about 14, when I had a monster brown on the White River east of Meeker in my grasp, only to watch him slip away as my Dad tried to net him with a cowboy hat (hey, we forgot the net and Dad made an admirable effort :-))
I hooked the second a few minutes later in a deep, fast run. Let the tension off of the rod. You know the rest of the story.
The third loss was a proud moment that was ultimately ruined by careless tippet selection and a hastily tied knot. I was proud because I floated a dry perfectly and nailed a great fish when it flashed to a Wyoming Renegade. If only I had stopped to think that it DOES matter to tie a secure knot from line to leader. And I hope it's ethical, but I'm not messing with 6X tippet anymore. I played the fish for a grand total of five seconds before leader parted from line. There's a nice fish on the Poudre with a Wyoming Renegade attached to his lip. I hope he can work it out. I hate the thought that I might have damaged such a nice trout for life.
At this point, trout were going crazy on the surface. Dad and I tried every dry we had in our boxes. We just couldn't seem to find the right grub to offer.
As the sun began to descend, I switched back to a nymph and casted relentlessly, but fruitlessly. The old man calmly and responsibly called it a day, wanting to get back home in time to shower and get to church choir practice. As he climbed up the bank to the truck, I noticed a flash in the water near the far bank. "What the heck," I thought. Enough time for me to float one more nymph through the deep water.
Last cast of the day. Big rainbow. A little vindication for me.
Lastly, tip-o-the-hat to Colorado Angler at Fishing the Rockies. Just so you know, my friend, my momentary lapse of reason was cured by your comment on one of my posts! Heading back out tomorrow.