Net Stuffer

Photos By: Matt Bornhorst     

So we hit up the creek again on Sunday March 3rd looking for some reel action. It was quite cold that morning with a slight breeze and frozen flakes falling from the skies. We started at the usual spots, and I didn't have much luck at anything other than getting a great sunrise and some nice snowy snapshots.

There were eight of us who spread out on the stream to give it our best. By mid-afternoon, I had one brief hookup with a decent rainbow.  He almost immediately sent the hook right back at my face after leaping 2-3 feet out of the water. You'd swear that someone had just lit the tail end of a Trident missile.

Even though I missed this leaper, I was going to have a good day on the water as I was fishing with my new rod: a 9ft - 4wt Echo Carbon. I got a great deal on this rod and it feels significantly better in all aspects than my old fly flinger. It doesn't hurt that the rod is quite pleasing to the eye as well with a sweet matte brown finish. (A+ Echo)

None the less, I had gone all day with one hookup and nothing brought to hand. I was getting into the late afternoon and I decided to part ways with the ambiguously related duo that I was fishing with and went downstream to explore some water that I had yet to lay my eyes or fly line on.

I found a nice bend in the river that had a deep run at the end. I started fishing the top of the run to make sure that I was covering all parts of the bend. My second cast into the tail of the hole saw my indicator shoot straight to the bottom of the stream. I knew this was what I had been waiting for all day, but I had no idea this is what I had been waiting for since I first took up fly fishing.

I fought and fought this big bruiser, which resulted in me crossing the creek in waist deep water in an attempt to keep him trying to snap my line on the rocks below. My 4wt was doubled over and the drag was clicking off line as the battle ensued.

20 minutes later, and some nervous moments trying to net this big brown, and I had the beast in hand. My net was filled from end to end and the tail was hanging out on the handle. I didn't measure him on the spot for fear of losing him without photo evidence for my fishing companions, but I did a rough guesstimate when I got home based on the pictures I snapped, and this hoss has to measure out to be 26" plus! This is certainly the biggest brown I have landed and likely my biggest trout.

I walked away from this day with an elevated sense of confidence in my ability to fight and land big fish. I am also quite happy with my new fly rod. No better way to break in ol' Foxy than hooking up with a big brown submarine!