This is a story about knowing when to stop, when enough is enough, or that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Tonight was one of those overly productive evenings when only in two or three hours you can get into the double digits. Earlier a weigted prince under an in indicator produced two decent size brookies and a brown of the same size. As the sun set, I tied on a shorter, stronger leader and at the end a size 10 white muddler.
As it got darker, the fishing got better. 4,5,6, 1lbs brookies later and it was pitch dark. I was now hauling a fish in on every fourth or fifth cast. Seven might be a good number to stop and pack up. Eight has absolutely no significance so I might as well aim for nine. I hadn't caught a fish of significant size yet so it seemed like going for one more to catch the big one seemed like a good idea. Sure enough, relocation to a shallower part of the pool and a smoke break later produced a nice 2lb brook trout after only six or seven casts. This was definitely a fish big enough to go home a happy angler.
When the fishing is this good, it's hard to stop. I was into the double digits and I wanted to see how far I could go. Smoke break. Move around the pool again. Cast muddler, retrieve slowly. I can't see anything. As the muddler stops mid retrieve I set the hook. Good thing I waited for eleven because grand pappy decided to come out and say hello.
It's clouded over just enough to hide the moon. There's nothing but a few farmlights in the distance which provide absolutely no assistance in seeing farther than five feet from my nose. I can tell that this fish is huge, maybe twice the size of the big number ten. Night time isn't really the best time for slow play because I know there's weedbeds and other obstacles around but I can't see them. This is definitely the biggest trout I've ever caught - I can't see but I can feel it. He's getting close to shore and He's almost within reach
One short haul and he's on the bank.
It's pretty difficult to control a fish with a broken road. Holding one piece of the rod in my left hand I struggle to reach the line so I can pull him on shore. Good thing what I was using was basically the butt end of a factory tapered leader. I pulled the trout on shore so I could have a look. Around 24 inches. And fat. This time of year, could have been a female full of eggs. I pulled out my camera from my waders. I had to get a picture of this thing. This picture is the last I've ever saw of him (or her):
Should I have stopped at ten:
By the way, does anybody know how long it usually takes Sage to send a replacement.....