Re: Most Memorable Fish of 2012
My most memorable fish was one that got away this fall. I was fishing one of the best musky rivers in Northern Wisconsin with the guys from Musky Country Outfitters. We'd been fishing hard from 8 am, and at the time of hookup it was about 6 pm. My arm was dead. If you've never cast a 10 or 11wt with musky flies for an entire day, it's hard to understand. But it's not a good feeling.
We were rounding the last bend, and I had told myself that I had 5 more casts before my arm would literally fall off. Both sides of the river were fishy, and so we started on the highest hole. I put one cast into it, and had a small pike take a few swipes but never connected. I put another cast back into the hole, and managed to bring a decent musky out to play and follow about 40' back to the boat. After some hard, deep figure 8's, he just wasn't having any of it and disappeared back into the depths of the river. We'd blown our shot on that hole.
On we went, rowing across the river to set up on the last spot of the day. I was wiped out, had nothing left in the tank. Chris told me one to man up, and put a few more casts in there. He knew there was a big fish in there and told me exactly where to put the next cast. I started out, arm went dead, and the cast fell behind the boat. I was laughing hysterically at this point. How dumb I must have looked! Finally I was able to gather what wits I had left, and get the fly placed right next to the bank under a tire swing. Immediately a monster fish shot upstream about 15' giving chase to my fly. This fish was charging my fly with absolutely no regard for it's life. It was the king of it's domain, and he was pissed that my fly was in his zone. The wake from this fish looked like a jetski had just came blowing by up the river. It's a monster. My guide starts yelling: "Strip strip strip strip" about as fast as anyone could get the words out. In the blink of an eye, the fish was on the fly and my 11wt was doubled over. A few minutes later and a couple power runs by the fish, and he was up to the boat. He looked like he was ready to admit defeat and pose for the requisite hero shot. Below the boat he sat, readily awaiting the net. The guide started to dip the net as soon as the fish was within arms reach, and the the musky flipped out. Literally, there was a moment when I thought I was in the movie Lake Placid. I was worried he was coming into the boat to kill us both. He death rolled over and over and over, right below the boat. And then disaster struck! He managed to bite through the 100lb floro bite guard we were using, and swim away, pride still in tact knowing he just fooled the fisherman. Both the guide and myself just sat there, slack jawed at how the whole thing had went down. My adrenaline was sky high and I couldn't decide whether I wanted to laugh or cry. I decided to laugh and make the best of it, and for the next minute or two, the guide and I were doubled over laughing at how cool that experience was.