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. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Matt Smith, front seat of my cataraft no more than 50 yards from the launch. I told him to drop his nymph rig into that swirling vortex of food collection, he did and WHAM, like I knew what I was talking about. A short minute later I saw that fish run past the boat in about 5' of water, it was massive. Fish of the outing massive. Outfished all the other guys in fish camp massive. Another quick minute later he got a bit aggressive and pop goes the tippet. His hands shook for a good 20 minutes until he could retie his rig. That fish haunts me. It was not mine, but I called it for a buddy, put him on it and it was his first legit steelhead hookup on the fly rod. I don't know if that fish haunts him too, but I sure wanted it in the net for him and I remember that big steelhead rushing past the boat. Did I mention that it was massive? Well, it was massive.
     
  2. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    While fishing a Skagit Co. put-n-take lake in early May several years ago, I hooked a beast of a trout that was into my backing before i even knew what was going on. Then suddenly it turned and headed back towards my pontoon with almost equal speed. All I could do to keep up was strip line in as fast as I could. When it got about 15' away it went airborne and I could see this was the type of fish measured in pounds not inches (my initial thought was that it was the size and shape of a small salmon). Its next move was a deep run, and with the line i had stripped in tangled on the boat, the 3X snapped like thread. With the expectation that day of 12" planters, i guess you could say i was not prepared for this one. Still would have liked to see it up close.

    More recently I have been haunted by a trophy sized sea-run cutt that threw the hook mid leap at the transom of my boat. While jumping is not normal sea-run behavior, I got a good enough look to see that this was clearly a cutthroat and not a salmon or steelhead. My best guess was that it was approaching that mythical 20" mark. I've caught (and lost) a lot of sea-runs in my day and this one was like no other i had tangled with before. I guess the ones you lose always seem bigger though.
     
  3. gldntrt40

    gldntrt40 Gone Fishing

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    post
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  4. Tool Fly

    Tool Fly Member

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    I grew up in the East Bay, and when I was about 10 my Father bought a beautiful piece of property along the San Lorenzo river in Brookdale, about 70 miles south of Walnut Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains. Back then the river was still full of crawfish, and in the summers we'd catch them with strips of bacon tied to strings and a net. It was mostly a catch and release game. I don't recall eating many. But come the rains of winter, my attention turned to the still vital run of native steelhead that my brother and I would chase with spinning rods and either all silver, or white and red Flatfish. Or, I should say, I chased and my brother would tag along and do his best. He was even then a very odd young man, and he constantly drew my Father's ire. I was the favorite, and it seemed nothing my brother could do would please the Old Man.

    The fish weren't too abundant even then, but older neighbor boys caught enough to prove what could be done. Once, my uncle came by and pulled out his limit of (2 or 3?) steelhead by drifting eggs. It was likely the second year in our "cabin" that I caught my first and only steelhead from that river, an 8 1/4 pound buck on Christmas morning. My brother ran up to the house to get Dad, who was sure I was just snagged on a rock. I let the reel free spool to show him I was indeed into a fish, and I'll never forget my Dad wading in up to his bare calves to net my prize. My Dad was pleased, and I could feel my brother's jealousy at once again being second-best.

    It was just a few weeks later when I got my brother to join me on another try at the fish, and I'd seen a fish flash in a pool we don't normally fish. I had been reading about knots and practicing them, and somehow got it in my head to try something new when I rigged up my brother's line. He had (at least) what might be described as ADD back then, and he couldn't tie anything beyond a square not. He simply wouldn't learn. So it was that I rigged up his Flatfish, and gave him the water. Just a few casts later and my older brother was fast into a red-sided slab that had to be one of the few remaining coho to come home to the San Lorenzo. It was so red that my mind wants to say sockeye, but I just don't think it could have been, that far south and all. I digress.

    I don't think my brother even got the standing 8-count before he and the fish parted ways. The knot, and myself, had failed him. He felt awful. Ineffective and small and dejected once again. I felt like dying. I ached. If not outwardly, I cried inside and had to bury my guilt and emphathy once again. Inside, by the fire, I told of my brother's tale in an effort to get my Father to toss him a kind word, but to no avail. His defeat was on my hands.

    My brother is 54 now and in and out of mental hospitals as we speak. I am still the little brother trying my best to save him and help him through this thing called life, but he feels beyond my grasp now, caught in an endless web of medications, courts and support groups. He is bitter and sad, scared and lost, and mostly out of his mind because he refuses his meds, and anyone's help, including mine. My brother has yet to catch a break, or his fish.
     
  5. gldntrt40

    gldntrt40 Gone Fishing

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    I should PM this but..You can never lose with love. An inspiring story and the beauty the experiences shared outweigh the fish landed.
    His biggest catch is having a thougthful and caring brother.
    Thanks for sharing and all the best Tool fly.
     
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  6. Tool Fly

    Tool Fly Member

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    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.

    Toolio
     
  7. lylelovett666

    lylelovett666 Active Member

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    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.
     
  8. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    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.
     
  9. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    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!
     
  10. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    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." $#^^&&#@^&.
     
  11. JS

    JS Active Member

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    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.
     
  12. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    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.
     
  13. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    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.
     
  14. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Huge Brown trout, Missouri River. Easy to hook...hard to land.
     
  15. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    "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!