The fish I lost

The fish I lost

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Yesterday a student asked me what fish out of all the fish I lost I would want to hook again, if I would have this one wish for free. This was an easy to answer question, I thought!

There was this huge (150+ pound) Tarpon I was playing for about half an hour in the Florida Keys before he broke me off. This was the only big fish I ever lost, which felt good to have lost him instead of having to play him for another (at that time) 2 hours? This was because that fish felt too tough - mentally. Being on my first tropical salt water trip (aged 20) and just having caught my first Tarpon (80 pounder) the day before I wasn't ready for such a monster. :)

Then there was the first Permit I ever saw. Decent size. Just one cast, he followed all the way close to the boat and suddenly took my fly. After an amazing fight I lost him close to the net. At that time I was happy to just have hooked one while my guide had tears in his eyes. Today - 20 years later - I know what a catch that would have been. :)

Fly fishing the Bahamian islands a good friend and I spotted a large Bonefish and mistook it to be a lemon shark based on him (the Bonefish) being way too big for a Bone. We allowed him to pass just 30 feet sideways of our position without having further concentrated on that giant fish. When he was just behind us I had another look at him and realized that he was a Bone. Too late to put the fly in front of him. We missed out to just lay down our flies in front of a (I think) 15+ pounder. Both we had been in perfect casting position - holy shit!

Fly fishing for coastal Sea trout - which I did 100-300 days a year for more than two decades - I immediately remembered all three serious sized fish I lost. I can tell exactly when and where each of them got long line released. All of them somehow stick up my mind.

Of course this one incredible large pike perch I lost close to the net in age of 15 also entered my mind for a thousand times.

Surely I can't forget this 20+ pound Atlantic salmon I lost close to my hands in the river Gaula in Norway.

Mullet! Damned, there was this one incredible mullet of probably 12-15 pound (record size). She took my fly but I missed to set the hook properly.

Before I got stucked deeper into my memories my student stopped me and pointed out to only have asked for the one fish to choose.

Truly I had to smile about myself. Having caught some 20 000 fish on fly rod still every single proper one I lost sticks up my mind and pops up regulary.

Am I crazy? Is it that I am a perfectionist? Is this normal? I don't know. What I do know is, that I think much less about having lost a decent sized fish after having caught one (within the same species of fish) being bigger! Luckily I have managed to land some Trophy fish! :)

How about you - some lost fish stick up your mind?

Nice week to all of you!

All my best

Some pictures from the last days...

flycasting school
Hot Torpedo in action! ;)