A Fish Named Fred

23 March 2006 By Dan Bachman • Fish-Story • Comments (2)

I am convinced that the seperation between someone that is devoted to (or obsessed with) a passion, cause, ideal or sport and somebody that is completely and utterly insane is a thin grey line that doesn’t happen to be straight. And so it is that I relate the following about a friend and former co-worker of mine.

Several years ago I worked for a dot com in Salt Lake City and became friends with a co-worker whose name also happened to be Dan. We would share fly fishing stories on almost a daily basis. He happened to fish a LOT more than me at the time and I would live vicariously through his stories.

On one occasion he had the chance to fish the Henry’s Fork for an entire week. On the last day of his trip he was exploring a new area and happened along a small stream that bordered a farmer’s land. He decided to inspect the stream to see what, if any, fish it contained. As he worked his way downstream he came to a large pool that held one of the largest brown trout that that he had ever seen. Excited, he ran back and grabbed his pole and when he made his way back to the pool the farmer was standing next to his fence waiting for him.

“That’s Fred.” the farmer told him. “I’ve caught him a couple times and if you catch him please put him back.”

Dan agreed and then spent the next several hours without success trying to catch Fred and ended up going home in disgust.

A week went by after Dan told me the story of Fred and I didn’t think too much about it until one day he came by my desk after lunch and said “I caught Fred this morning” while grinning from ear to ear.

“What do you mean you caught Fred this morning?” I asked. “Wasn’t that up near Henry’s Fork?”

He then told me that it had really bugged him that he couldn’t catch the big fish. Finally he couldn’t take it any longer and last night he packed his fishing gear in his car and drove 4 1/2 hours to the Henry’s Fork.

After only a couple casts he hooked Fred and after a lengthy battle landed him. He held Fred for a minute and then slipped him back into the water. Dan conservatively estimated his weight at 20 lbs.

“What did you do then?” I asked.

“Well I drove home of course.”

He had spent 9 hours driving for just a couple minutes fishing to catch “the big one”.

Now this makes perfect sense to me. But to those less inclined this story might be reason to call somebody that happens to have a white lab coat and a very big butterfly net.


  1. 25 March 2006 Dad

    I loved this story. You are writing better and better. Keep it up!

  2. 2 April 2006 jim houston

    I laughed,I cried,Icompletly understand.Thanks for the story.

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