Hugh's First Big Catch

6 October 2005 By Dan Bachman • Fish-Story • Comments (0)

I wrote about my friend Hugh’s first experience catching a big fish awhile ago. Every fly fisherman has been there. Starting out in this sport can be a very frustrating experience. There is so much to learn and only one thing out of a hundred has to be done wrong to prevent hooking up with a fish. He’s taking it in stride, keeping the swearing tirades to a minumum and improving every time he goes. He finally wrote up his version of the story….

My First Big Catch | By Hugh Griffith

As Dan has previously mentioned, I am a newcomer to the sport of fly fishing. This is obvious when you actually watch me fish. Lines are tangled, hooks are snagged, curse words fill the air—it isn’t pretty. That said, you can imagine my surprise when I caught my first big fish.

It was another gorgeous afternoon, the temperature well into the 80s. Dan, our friend Chad and I had spent the better part of the afternoon hip deep in the chilly waters of the South Fork of the Boise River (Chad and I didn’t even have waders). The late evening sun was fading fast and we were all equally frustrated by the lack of interest from the trout so far. I was slowly making my way back to the bank where the car was, casting as I went along. And like so many of my casts, I had managed to wrap my line around the bottom of my rod and my reel. Focusing intently on unraveling this mess, I became oblivious to my fly floating downstream. Without thinking I lifted my rod in the air to keep my line from becoming tangled up again, only to find there was tension. I was sure I had snagged something because my line wasn’t moving at all, but before I could move to unhook it, it took off up stream! The “Holy &*%$# I caught something!” barely out of my mouth was reinforced by the splashing of water and a flash of silver.

I don’t remember the fish fighting too hard or long. It zipped back and forth and only showed itself above the water a couple more times. It was a miracle he never got away though because I had once again tangled my line up fighting it, and while I was trying to fix it Dan was constantly yelling at me to keep the tip of my pole up. After about 5 minutes I’d managed to get it to shore where Dan and Chad were waiting for a look.

It was definitely a big rainbow (to me anyway, I’d only caught 6-8” before this), and it was a fat sucker! After wiggling out of my hands three times I finally got it out of the water where we measured it (16”!) and snapped a picture.

As I look back on that eventful day I feel I should have spent more time admiring my scaly prize. Little did I know it would be the last fish I’d catch for a long, long time.

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