One lost fish. Which one single lost fish experience haunts you the most?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by gldntrt40, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Thanks for the kinds words, Gldntrt40. The original poster asked for "haunting," and though heavier than may be appropriate for this place, I could think of no better story for the definition. Dammed if a few of those tears haven't caught up with me yet again.

    Be well.

  2. The Yak in Oct 2010 Cle Elum.Early in the day I watched large trout take flys off the surface non stop but they had no interest in any of my flys.Went to EB and fished the rest of the day and then decided to head back to the same spot in CE to give the big boys one more chance.By the time I waded across the river it was already foolish to do so but big meat was there and I could here them still rising.Third cast with an October Caddis the line went tight and began to spool out.After a dry,frustrating day my excitement was too much.I jerked too hard to set the hook and snapped the tippet.It still hurts because in the end it was my f-up.
  3. I don't worry or think of all the fish I have lost. I go out for the fun in it. If I catch something I'm happy and if I lose one I'm just as happy. I'm still doing what I enjoy.
  4. Gear fishing- a salmon over 50# on the trask . steelhead over 20# on the sandy.

    Fly fishing steelhead - In the early 80's i hooked a large steelhead over 15 pounds while standing on a cliff where I could not move up or down to chase it. we battled for a long time and it made it's way to the tail-out and held their for a long time so I thought to myself I had to do something - so i ripped out a bunch of line clear into my backing to make the fly line go down into the rapid below him so he would think i had moved and was now down stream of him - IT WORKED - he slowly swam back up river right in front of me and held so i reel all the line in and reset the hook to make sure it was still buried in his jaw and it freaked out and ran so hard it over ran my drag (which at the time was my hand) made a birds nest in my reel and broke me off just before hitting the rapid below us.

    On one hand i had fooled the fish! on the other he kicked my ass!

    I once hook a steelhead on my side of the tail out on a spinning outfit working spinners just above a rapid that split the river below me . my father was fishing next to me and i had just snagged a few cast before and had tightened the drag all the way to brake the line . this big steel hits (close to 20#) I set the hook and it takes off across the tail-out leaping like a porpuss does in the ocean! as soon as it would hit the water it would come out again - not up , but out and away and he did this all the way across to the other side of the river into the other channel before i grabbed the reel and broke him off on purpose because he was going to take all my line! funny thing is the drag was cranked all the way and it ran so fast i could not grab the handle of the spinning reel at all because every time i tried it would bust my knuckles.

    I will never forget the controlled jumping that fish did. It was awesome and sometimes I believe the fish deserve to win and I'm ok with that!
  5. I'm with ya Old Man. I've lost more than my fair share of big fish. I usually step back, say the word "f__k" a few times in a row, smile, and exclaim to the fish, "Your a smart f___ker and deserved to get away...I guess." $#^^&&#@^&.
  6. In 2008 a couple of buddies and I spent October doing the Skeena trib tour. Our first destination was the Kispiox, but after a few days of pretty solid fishing she blew out on us. We dicked around in Smithers for a few days, fishing here and there until we heard about a two day float on the Bulkley that was supposed to be epic; the water was right, every report we heard was it was that the fishing was banging, so we were there. That first day I think we ended up landing three really nice fish, but I didn't even get a grab. On the second day of that float I woke up and stepped into a tailout above our camp. It was a glassy piece of water around six feet deep with a massive ledge rock dropoff that put the bottom at around 12-15 feet deep. I made about half a dozen casts and came tight with the heaviest fish I have ever hooked in my life. I had just spent the summer hooking kings in the 20+ pound range, and this fish was in a class well above even the heaviest king I had hooked. It just took line. I tried to put the brakes on it, but the fish dragged my leader over the ledge rock in its attempt to spool me and suddenly I had the most sickening feeling of slackness in my line. I have been "woken up" by sharp grabs or been a little rattled by big fish before, but this was different. When I think back on it I just remember thinking, "Holy shit what the fuck did I just hook...." and it all happening so fast. Later that trip I banked a 20 pound Kispiox fish, and since then I have hooked dozens of mid-teen fish, but that fish to this day haunts me. I just would have liked to have seen it.
  7. I hooked and lost a nice size steelhead on the Sauk River in March of 2009. That fish still gives me shivers when I think of it.

    Otherwise, I hooked a fall Chinook a few years ago that could have easily gone 30 - 40 pounds. Unfortunately, I was not in a position that allowed me to move up or down river, which is part of the reason why I lost it. To be honest, I am glad that I didn’t land it; it was a wild fish and landing it would have required that I play it to the point of utter exhaustion.
  8. Many years ago on the Skagit fishing what was once known as the Lyman Bar. I hooked a fish that slammed my fly as hard or harder as any fish I have hooked before or since. It then proceeded to make a downstream run that was so intense I had unconsciously started moving downstream with it. I had the fish on for about 45 seconds if that. I feel confident in saying this was a steelhead but I did not see the fish at all. What ever it was I will never forget it.
  9. Huge Brown trout, Missouri River. Easy to hook...hard to land.
  10. "I made about half a dozen casts and came tight with the heaviest fish I have ever hooked in my life. I had just spent the summer hooking kings in the 20+ pound range, and this fish was in a class well above even the heaviest king I had hooked. It just took line. I tried to put the brakes on it, but the fish dragged my leader over the ledge rock in its attempt to spool me and suddenly I had the most sickening feeling of slackness in my line."

    Sounds like you hooked a devil fish (Dec Hogan reference). A fish like that would haunt me in this life and the next!
  11. I've hooked and lost of lot of fish. None of them haunts me. Maybe some were larger than average fish, maybe they weren't. I don't see any reason to lose any sleep over it. Losing some of the fish I hook is just part of fishing. Maybe I'm really well adjusted. Or maybe I'm not one of those anglers who mistakenly thinks a big fish represents a phallic symbol.

  12. On the Cedar river there is a hole I have passed over dozens of times and thrown a token dry at it every once and awhile but knew nothing ever rose there.

    One day two summers ago, I decided to bring along a second reel with a sink tip line and throw some nymphs at that hole. Second or third cast in I hooked onto the largest fish I've ever had on the Cedar. The type that make you think you snagged a log or fouled up in a rock until it makes a run or two. Lost the fish when it suddenly shot up out of the pool and became airborne and shook me off.

    I think about that fish every time I walk past that hole.
  13. I would have to say that it was about three summers ago. I was out with my girlfriend and her little brother it was her first time salmon fishing with me. I told them if they saw the rod tip wiggle to just make a noise and I would hook the fish and hand her the rod. While showing her a dog fish, her brother made a grunting noise, i looked up and the rod popped out of the clip. I reeled down and set the hook. The fight was on, the fish just took off and i started chasing it with the boat. She did great!! The fish took five runs and almost spooled her while is was chasing it with the boat. On the sixth run the fish had just came right at the boat and she had her tip up and caught up to the fish and then it turned and started peeling line again and then it broke off! Broke through a 25lb freshly tied leader that morning. And it was Maxima so it was really like 30lb line. However she was rewarded about three weeks later with a beauty! I wish my first king was 21#! Cant find the pic on my computer though :(
  14. IMHO I think a very large, healthy and beautiful fish is saying "this is the best of the best, a genetic masterpiece that nature has allowed grow from a pea-size to this beautiful specimen that will climb the highest waterfall, escape Orcas and survive the strongest conditions to reach the safest waters to ensure reproduction of the species. Much like humans are drawn to certain physical traits among other humans that usually correlate to a healthy "breeder"? Doesn't a big Angus bull or huge Bull Elk just look like it is pretty formidable on the survival scale?

    That said, it is not really how much a fish weighs that should make it a masterpiece but...... masterpiece fish usually weigh alot : )

    So I agree that a big fish alone may be overrated, depends upon it's context.. and how many 10 inchers it takes to catch a 20-incher to appreciate the big ones!

    I'd rather catch 10 inch native/natural bred costal cutts than a 10 pound alien freaky Rufus fish anyday.
  15. I learned a great deal on two fish I lost. The first was in 2006 fishing the upper Elk river for massive Bull Trout. Our party of five anglers hired three guides for the day as we had never fished for Bulls. I was the first to hook up a big brute and after a long fight got him to the guides net. We set up for the required "Fish Porn" shot and I asked the guide to hold him and I'd hold my rod. Well surprise he jumped out of the guides hands before the shot. I did not catch any other Bulls the entire day. I know the guy felt terrible, but it could of happened to me as well so I learned to take a "safety" shot of my fish in the net first before attempting a "Fish Porn" shot.

    My next lesson occurred in 2007 also with a Bull trout but this time on Panther Creek in Alberta. I had no photos of me with a Bull yet so this time a huge monster grabbed my CFO Chernobyl in a back eddie by a large boulder we were off to the races. It took sometime to get him to my buddies net and just then the big Bull decided to go for a bit more fun and made a beeline away from the net. I of course had my finger clamped down on my line as I drug him over to my buddies net and forgot to release it...Bang the stress on the line took its toll and bye bye Bullie. To this day, all my buddies keep saying "Hands off your reel JR" every-time I catch a fish. Lesson learned. JR.
  16. We were fishing the West Branch of the Delaware River near Deposit, NY. Can't remember the year but it was about 10-12 years ago and it had been a wet spring and summer and rained steadily during our week-long trip. By Thursday the river was essentially impossible to wade. Even though I was on a tight budget then, my buddy convinced me that if we wanted to fish we needed to hire a guide to float the river. We were lucky enough to find Jim Costolnick tying flies and willing to provide a 1/2-day float.

    The order of the day would be pitching heavy barbell-eyed, rabbit strip Zonkers within inches of the bank. Cast-strip-strip-strip-repeat. In the first couple of miles we only hooked one fish but rolled numerous impressive browns. I was fishing a 10' 7wt that handled these streamers quite well. Jim decide to rest for a bit just upstream of where a side channel dumped back into a rather deep run on the main river. I made a cast where the side channel dropped into the river and let the heavy streamer drop for several feet. When I tightened up on the line I was solid to something very heavy and unmoving. The only sign of life was a solid head throb. When Jim caught sight of that 7wt bent double he was on his feet grabbing for the net. In those first few seconds I know he and I were thinking the same thing - near this spot in March a local had landed and released a 13 lb brown. Well, that is all we had time to do as fish started moving for the main channel the hook pulled out and came flying to the surface.

    I have no idea what I was hooked to but I like to think it was one of those monstrous West Branch browns. I replay what I should have done differently and try to imagine if the whole thing would have been better or worse if I had gotten a chance to see it - not sure. This one will stay in my memory for as long as I fish.

  17. I once hooked a lingcod or halibut on a 7weight that ran 100 yards into my backing then I got him to the fly line and he bent the 5/0 34007 in half. I want that one back, or at least I woulda liked to see what it was...

    I also lost a 60+ pound king on gear that was chrome and jumpy

    I've certainly lost a lot more than I landed. If it wasn't that way it wouldn't be as fun or addicting.
  18. In early September of 1980 I was fishing the South Fork of the Sauk River near Monte Cristo with a #14 Royal Wullf for the typical small Rainbows. I was using a 7-1/2 ft, 4 wt fly rod with a leader tapered to 6X.
    I was fishing a pool where a bridge once crossed when a very large Bull Trout rose slowly and slurped the fly then returned to the cover of the stubs of piling. That fish was about two feet long.

    I knew they were in there because I had spotted big ones in deep pools under sweepers through the clear water but somehow you never seem to expect one of these to take a fly. I never stood a chance.
  19. In a life time of fishing I have been fortunate enough to have caught a lot of fish of many species and even some large fish. As with everyone in that process I have also lost a lot fish. Perhaps the most important fish of my life is one that I "lost".

    For a time I lived in South America and would often fish with the locals whose preferred gear was hand lines. I was fishing from the shore with my hand line (150# mono) when I spotted a large muddy area and throw a whole shrimp on a 3/0 hook in the area. When nothing happen I wrapped the line around my hand and re-arranged some of my gear. I felt a "tap tap" and quickly set the hook. Everything immediately jerk tight around my hand. I was sitting on a large rock 4 or 5 feet above the water and the monster that I hooked was pulling me down the rock towards the water. In spite of my frantic efforts I was unable to free my hand. I dug my heels in a crack in the rock at the water's edge but the fish continue swim towards Africa pulling me erect and just as I reached the "tipping point" I "lost" the fish - the hook had straighten out.

    The monster was most likely a cow ray that weight several hundred pounds and I seriously doubt that if I had not "lost" it I would not be here to tell the story or had more than 4 additional decades of fishing.

    Tight lines

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