This morning I went to a local river and only had one small brown to show for a couple hours of fishing. I decided to head over to a small creek that was iced up last week but due to a warm spell it was pretty much ice free today. I usually like to use a 3 or 4 weight rod on this stream but since I was planning to fish the river I had a 5 weight rod. A little much for this stream but it turned out to be a blessing.
Working my way downstream I came to one of my favorite pools on a bend. I had never caught anything big in this pool but I could usually catch a few 8-10" browns from the tail end of it. I quickly fished the near end of the pool and then began casting to where I usually catch the small browns. I landed two and lost one and after a few more casts with no bites I was about to head downstream. I decided to do another swing through the head of the pool which is about 3 feet deep before moving on.
I was using a size 8 Slumpbuster and about halfway through the swing I felt weight on the line and raised the rod tip. I thought I was snagged since this was heavier than anything I had felt on this little stream before but then I felt a couple of tugs on the line. The fish came to the surface and began thrashing and I was very surprised at what I saw. I immediately got him on the reel as he shot beneath the undercut bank. I worked him out from under there three times before he took off downstream with me in hot pursuit. About 50 yards downstream I was able to bring him into a shallow spot and land him. I had caught a few browns around 14" in this stream before and a couple weeks ago caught a 15" cutthroat which was my largest fish in this stream at that point. Most fish run 6-10" in this stream so this fish was a major surprise!
This picture makes the fish look a little slimmer than it really is. You can see in the net pic that it has some mass to it.
This is the average width of the stream. Its pretty shallow and not very wide. This is where I landed the fish.