After walking all day, getting very few shots and only a small fish each, Mike and I were ready to pack it in. There were a couple of backwaters just up ahead so I suggested we take one each before quitting. Mike took the small one while I took the big one.. I made a few blind casts with the bugger out into black water while carefully spotting the edge. No sign of life. I figured there were no fish in it and looking at Mike fishing his backwater I think he thought the same. Then to my right I noticed movement. I looked and saw a fish of at least 8lbs. He was very close to me so ducking suddenly would have been more likely to spook him than just standing still so I made a very quick, short cast to intercept his path and then froze. My only movement was short retrieves to give life to the fly. Suddenly a big gold flash from the dark water and the fish was following…. I stripped line until the fly was about 4′ from the rod tip, then I thought the fish ate so I struck. I was wrong. The fish disappeared into the black with an unhurried pace. I took a few short casts into the vicinity but nothing happened. A few moments later, assuming the fish was spooked, I hitched the fly and started reeling in. Then it happened again. God spoke! Honestly, I dont know why but I unhitched the fly and took a final shot and nearly had the rod pulled from my grip. Immediately the fish jumped and I knew what I was into; a very big, spectacularly marked brown trout with an unusually red tail. I knew it’s tail was red because I could see it glowing with the sunlight shining through it as the fish jumped repeatedly in the first minute of the short battle. Mike came straight over with the net. He saw the fish as it jumped and knew he had to help. This fish was too important to lose! After a few short lunges away I got his head up and Mike netted the fish. I weighed it, then we took a few quick photo’s and released him. It was truly one of the most amazing, rewarding, satisfying, thoroughly electrifying, fish I have ever caught.. An end to a difficult day that put both Mike and I on a natural high. One fish can really turn a day around! We stopped on the way home and had a beer or 2 at the local. Deserved!
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