No, just kidding. Well, kind of.
I landed the largest fish I've ever laid into the other day. I was working a big piece of water (at least for the area I'm from) that had been stocked with rainbows a month before. This water also has a nice population of wild browns that use its many tribs as spawning ground. The geology of this stream lends itself to big holes and even bigger boulders. I stalked up to one and starting casting above it, letting my nymph tandem of a prince and wet fly get low into the feeding channel before it swept past the boulder. With my third cast I thought I snagged a rock as I set the hook, but after a second, my line began to shake back and forth and I knew I was into something bigger than normal.
He was sluggish at first as I lifted him off the bottom of the deep run, but he soon started to fight. He kept trying to get himself back under the rock, but I played him out. I knew he would try to take off downstream, so I waded with him and worked him over to the other bank and eventually landed him directly across from where I was originally casting. I quickly took a few pics and released him to see another day.
Here's what I mean when I said "luck" earlier. I didn't even know he was there. Knowing me and my giddiness and general lack of couth, if I'd had known he was there, I would have most likely spooked him. I read the water ahead of me and planned an approach that kept me hidden. The boulder that I was casting over shielded me from the brute, which enable me to lay into him and have a nice quick conversation about the beauty of the world and spontaneous nature of life that lead us to meeting and saying goodbye.
"I ain't good with numbers I just count on knowing when I'm high enough..." - Mike Cooley, Drive-By Truckers. This rainbow was easily pushing 22+ inches. He was fat, too, which leads me to believe that he was a pretty recent stocker. He did have some really nice dark spots considering he was a stocked fish.
As I worked my way back upstream, I decided to do a quick run up a trib to see if I could find any wild browns. I switched from tandem nymph rig to a dry/dropper (yellow stimulator and a green caddis) and started working some nice runs. I landed quite a few wild browns; most would slap at my dry and then take my dropper. Sometimes it's best to just follow your curiosity and see where the water leads you.
Sketches & scatterings. Rooted in Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River.