I was out float tubing yesterday and had an odd thing happen. I looked back over my shoulder to gauge my distance to a bouy line and noticed a rather large red and white bobber floating nearby. Not unusual, as this lake is primarily put&take. I figure this rig is caught on the bouy line so I paddle toward it, as I close in it moves and dives away like a mini-Jaws with a barrel! I can see the bobber about 6 feet down as I increase my pursuit. I figure that, like Jaws, the bobber will eventually surface. I catch up to it and handline the fish in, it's a 14 inch rainbow with a small treble stuck in its tongue. The fish is in good shape so I remove the hook and let him go and save the rig for the bin. milt.
As you know, one good story deserves another, so...............
I never had that happen but once caught a really big brook trout in Slate Run (PA) that had a snelled #4 bait hook lodged way deep on the tongue almost into the gullet. Slate Run is a non-stocked no kill Heritage Trout stream with fly fish only regulations. This fish lived in a pool behind a cabin with a big sign hanging over the front porch. The sign proclaimed the cabin to be "The Devils Den", honest, that's what it said. I had found evidence of poaching in the area around Devils Den for years but this was the first time I had found a survivor. I knew most of the fish in the 'Frances Branch' of Slate Run and I could tell when someone had been poaching them. The cabin in question is about a quarter mile below the confluance of France Branch and Colemans run, these two beautiful brooks join to form the famous Slate.
The fish must have been ready to throw in the towel because he (it was a male) hung himself on my 'Lew Oatman's Brook Trout Minnow' in a size 4. He was only lip hooked and as I took out the un-barbed streamer I noticed the loop with the broken mono knot protruding from his mouth. That's how deep the hook was, only the loop was sticking out! This was a real trophy size brookie, the kind you want to see breeding so I had to think this over before doing anything. I pulled him back out of my little net and took a second look. after the second opinion I decided to take the hook out of his throat. With no one to even blot the perspiration from my brow I worked as careful as could be with my forceps. Now remember this was a big one and I could reach in there with out dislocating his jaw, I got it! And I got it with no bleeding! I then spent the next 45 minutes moving him to a stretch of water with good bedrock shelves for cover that was at least a half mile from The Devils Den.
Caught a bow last week with a red butt still lodged in his jaw and kept the fly as a souvenir. This winter I landed a 14 rainbow with about 10 inches of mono extending out from his rectum. It had been there for a long time as there was a lot of moss growing on the line. When I gently pulled the line it felt like a spinner blade was lodged inside and I was afraid it might tear his intestines if I pulled it out. The fish was healthy and it was obvious because of the moss it wasn't bothering him so I cut the string short and turned him back loose.
this story is legit-
once when i was younger in alaska, i was fishing king salmon on the ninilckik river in mid june,.i hooked a fish. after about only a minute or so, it got off. as i retrieved the fly, at the final 4 or so feet of the drift....POW!!! 22 pound chrome hen.
I have one too (its true I swear), or as we said in the navy, this is a real no-sh*****) story.
I took my 8 year old to a little put and take pond a couple years ago, not sure how he did it, but somehow he managed to hook a 12 inch trout on his bobber setup with a GRHE on the end, then break it off above the bobber. well, this is a small pond, only about 12 feet deep, and an acre or two of water - I can see this fish swimming around the pond, doing the Jaws thing as milt mentioned above.
I followed this fish around the pond, casting a weighted fly at the bobber, until I was eventually able to snag the line below the bobber and reel him in. the boys rig was hooked just inside the trouts mouth, so, forceps to remove, let him rest a bit, and send him on his way. I don't doubt he was someones dinner (cormorant or one of the bait fisherman loading up thier dinner buckets) but that is ok, in this pond they don't last long, it is in town, and like I said put and take primarly for those that want a fresh trout dinner, but it was still fun, catching the bobber (fishing from shore), and I felt good about not just letting him float around with it stuck in his mouth til he died.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Ketchin' Fish... the OLD fashioned way.
Oddest fish I never hooked, but landed was a more than a few years back. Fishing on a SW Washington stream and this particular bit of water isn't all that wide, but deeper than heck. Re-strung the single hander with a 300 grain Teeny head line and off we go.
A few casts into this and line stops, rod begins to 'throb;' set the hook and fish on! End game is I've just about got the fish to the surface and I look at my leader .... and the whole darned thing (my fly included) is out of the water!
What I'd hooked was someone else's busted off fish. Only thing I can think of is the guy broke his line and the lead (a goodly chunk) had stuck between a couple of rocks on the bottom. My fly caught the leader, pulled the lead off the bottom and away we go.
A few years ago while I was fishing a single barbless stream here, I cast too far and hung the fly in a log on the far side of the creek. I paid out line, walked a little way up stream and across. As I worked my way back down toward the fly, I found a spin rod outfit with a treble hooked spinner on it. I'm hoping it was some poacher who ditched it when the C.O. approached. Mine now!