So a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be like the sixth person to go through Lani's water on the Deschutes. You know where he filmed the video. Where boats park for days and you have to bring your own rock. Well anyway, I was beating myself over the head after taking a swim that morning while wet wading and loosing a dink hatch dog that felt like a wet sock, not to mention having difficulties getting what I wanted out of the Carron I was casting. So when this fish nailed my coachman, the shivering finally didn't matter anymore.
I do not want to sound like the tool who describes a magnificent battle with a wild beast, but in all reality everything about that fish and fight was perfect. When casting long bellies, you have a crap ton of line out already and on the first run it doubled with a lot of that line taken from me on one of those runs that starts out as continuous jumps. I could not believe it. Finally when I got it to me, I was still waist deep in the water and after a tug of war it was tailed.
This fish was perfect, a hen about seven to eight pounds and full of piss and vinegar. I stood there on that rock, pulled the coachman out of its mouth and sat there looking at a perfect summer specimen. Unlike her friends I have seen this summer on the river, there was no net mark on her and all her fins were intact. She was plump, healthy and aggressive, all the things we look for to in a summer run steelhead.
I could not help but think about how many fish I have caught over the years that felt like the most worthy of adversaries. This little lady was one of them, and I am blessed with a few battles like this every year that I will never forget, and can talk about in detail to those who understand. It has never been about catching the big fish, nor the numbers, but rather gain the experience and skill to be efficient and thorough when swinging flies. But overall these memorable fish due to location, battle, technique, whatever are really what brings you home to why we are all out there. Protecting these fish and the rivers that hold them is a must and I look forward to seeing and hearing about the Perfect Fish again. Weeks later I still cannot get that feeling out of my head, what a great fish.
4 hours ago