Fly Tied By:
Story By: Hermann
Home: Manchester, NH and
Although a native of Germany, most
of Hermann's years have been spent in the USA, where he
started fly fishing in Michigan and New Hampshire. Currently
living in Germany, most of his angling is now in Austria,
where he prefers to fish for rainbows, browns, and grayling,
with bamboo and dries. Herm periodically returns to the States
to fish with his American buddies.
14, 3XL, Mustad 94831
Tail: Red hackle feathers
Collar: Deer hair,
Head: Deer hair, spun
like a rainbow and fought like crazy...."
This summer, on a stretch of my home stream, I hooked into
what at first I thought was big rainbow. Although the fish
didn't jump, it accelerated like a rainbow and fought like
crazy. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a big, beefy brown.
During the battle, we took turns getting behind each other,
and I was only able to hold him above a set of rapids by
shamelessly putting the wood to him.
After five or eight minutes, both of us were getting tired. Yet I
still had to get him into in my catch and release net. Although the
water was not deep, the current was strong, and circumstances forced
me to pull him against the current. That was one heavy fish, and he
put an awful bend in my little 4-wt bamboo rod. I was half afraid it
might snap like a toothpick, and all the while I was trying to
remember to turn the rod around (reel facing up) when I had the fish
close, so as not to put a permanent set in my cane.
I finally got him into my net, and holding the net in the water I
measured him at 18 inches - and a fat, heavy male he was. My size 14
barbless Smuddler (small muddler) was solidly embedded in the
cartilage at the corner of his mouth. I extricated the hook and held
the fish against the current. After a while I no longer needed to
hold him. He rested a couple of minutes more, and then swam off as
nicely as could be. I tipped my cap to him as he departed, but I
crawled out of the stream and had to sit down. A friend of mine
pulled up in his car and walked over to me. He thought I was sick. I
was just pooped, but mighty happy too.
What was most gratifying to me about this
heavy-fish-in-a-small-stream experience was that my tackle held up
well enough to finish the job. My rod was severely taxed but
completed its task. My Hardy Featherweight reel overspooled at one
point. This created a bit of a salad on the spool as I reeled in and
would have meant a snag and break-off if there had been one last run
through the rapids, which luckily I was able to prevent. The hook (a
Mustad 94831) did not bend. Both the Pitzen knot connecting the fly
and the blood knot connecting my 5X tippet to the leader held.
Sometimes it all comes together.
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