Kind of a tossup for me because I had one of my best days fishing this fall landing three of the largest steelhead I've ever caught, but this brown trout is my most memorable.
This past spring, I was fishing with Chi on our annual trip-10 days of spring creekin'. We were fishing one our favorites, a small stream and it had been a bit of a rough morning for me. I watched Chi land fish after fish while I sipped coffee and observed a master at work. After finally getting into some fish, we moved upstream to a hole that typically holds good numbers of fish, but there is very little flow making it tough to hook up with these spooky fish. Add to that the water was lower than normal and it's a rough go. I looked at the head of the pool where the previous run flows into the pool and saw a fish come up to feed, then a flash of bronze. I had to cast at it and I was rigged with a CDC & Elk. Somewhere between 3-5 casts I hooked into this one. Not a huge fish, but a respectable size for this stream. The unique markings, beautiful colors, great company along with the challenge of getting it to eat make this one my most memorable fish of the year.
I have a 50/50 on most memorable fish, well, a number of memorable fish, I'll do 3 haha
1st; My first fish is my first atlantic salmon landed on the fly, although it was a spring fish and not fresh by any means. I had been given reports by a few friends that the fishing was great on this river, my friends had each hooked plenty of fish. So being all excited by their news I made the trek to the mainland to fish. When I got there the river had blown out, the water was raging, 80km/hr wind gusts, -5 and snow. That didn't stop me, it was a couple days of chuckin and duckin and ice cube toes. I had found this pool, but it was too dangerous to cross and fish it, so I walked down river a km or so, at the tail end of the pool, mid swing, something very angry attacked my fly, 15 minutes or so later I tailed the fish myself, took a picture and sent him on his way, he was stunning, even if he was a little lanky, a solid 34" fish
The other two were fish lost, one was a brief, terrifying, amazing experience with one of the monster rainbows that lurk in the depths of our rivers, a fish in the 10 pound range that took me to my backing and whooped my butt in seconds!
The last was a salmon I hooked on the last day of the season, hooked one in the same spot a half hour prior, hooked this guy but he decided to jump into an alder bush, getting my line tangled and ultimately snapping my leader!
I have had several this year but the best was. In the fall with my son and gf Ann we had walked down below the house here for an evening of fishing we only took one rod so we would not be in each others way and was trading the rod after each fish. I told Eli to fish next to a log that was down,now he is 18 so he knows more than dad lol well he caught a small rainbow and gave me the rod with a smirk so of course I had to make a cast to the log with hope,the fly didn't move far when I had a take and it was pulling hard well Ann grabbed the net and to our surprise I had a nice rainbow on the fly and one on the dropper for a double. Eli said how do you do that ,I grinned and told him in time he would learn that I had not taught him everything I knew yet.
2012 was a great fishing year for me . Many memorable fish Largemouths , smallmoths, carp , big panfish , trout , catfish , white bass , Pickeral ,Peacock bass , chinnooks, cohos , steelhead, shad and crappies. In the salt there was tarpon , stripers , bluefish , fluke ,weakfish ,seatrout an assortment of grunts and snappers as well as NE species. All these fish brought a smile to my face and made every trip a joy!
But my most memroble fish is the one I didnt catch. And not for lack of trying . Oh I came close , very close as close as a foot from shore but the fish still eludes me and that's the long nose Gar! So my most memorable fish of 2012 will become my goal for 2013!
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
Mine would be this rainbow below, the interesting thing about this fish is that it was totally unexpected. I had fished this pool ( probably 80 ft long) a number of times before and it was absolutely loaded with small browns 8-14" that were a blast to fish to on dries. My girlfriend's sister was in town and she wanted to learn to fly fish, so we went out to a private pond, I'm thinking this would be the best bet to get her into a Wyoming trout, but we got skunked.....rats! The next day I took her down to this pool that has been producing like crazy, hard not to hook into 20 or more fish in an afternoon. We get there, I rig up my girlfriend and her sister with dry/dropper rigs and nothing! I'm thinking maybe the recent cold spell has put the fish down, so I tie on a double nymph rig and begin showing the girlfriend's sister how to cast, how to mend, how to let it drift, etc and bam this huge Rainbow comes out of nowhere and hits my nymph. After landing that fish I go down to the bottom of the pool and wade across the stream and walk the far bank that is elevated off the water and all the little fish were gone, the only fish left in the pool was this big Rainbow.
I went all out over the summer so I caught a lot of memorable fish. First of a species are always memorable.
1. Golden Trout, Bighorns. A couple in particular were especially vibrant.
2. First steelhead, Clackamas river. Actually, I was close to another before hand. Didnt think to beach the fish, and lost him cause I had no way to land him. Didn't know about tailing fish either. Slick 7 or 8 lber swam out of my hand a few times. The one I did land was much smaller. Funny it doesn't much matter.
3. 1st Guadelupe bass, which is the fish that got me to the bass grand slam.
4. A monster smallie at the south umpqua.
5. Very early in the year I caught a couple 5 lb or so coosa spotted bass. Kinda got me off to a fast start.
6. First landlocked atlantic salmon, hosmer lake, or.
But there were plenty of others. This was not a nondescript year, so now I gotta figure out how to top it.
For me it was this guy. I went camping where the streams are SMALL....like 3 feet wide and 10" deep. All I took was my 1wt since I planned on a weekend of 6" Brookies. Well I found a beaver pond that had some nice looking fish cruising around . First cast with a size 18 Hi Vis Parachute Adams and pow this 17" hog hit it hard. What a blast on the 1WT, he put on a arial display.
Before the pic I apologize about him being in the dirt. I didn't bring a net based on expecting 6" fish all weekend