We all now that feeling that we get when we go through a fly fishing magazine and we see a photo of some lucky angler posing with a once in a lifetime fish. You are happy for the angler but you also feel jealous and sad as you know that the possibilities of catching such a fish are slim to none. You can only dream of catching such a fish!
Well this is a brief story of such a fish that I have been lucky enough to encounter. Funny enough it happened on my honeymoon, and if it wasn’t for my wife granting me some time to make a couple of casts then I would not have caught this beauty.
What started out as a picnic by the river turned out to be one of the most memorable fishing sessions of my life thus far. After sitting down and having a short lived picnic my wife gave me the nod and without wasting any time I rigged up my 2wt Stealth Infinity rod and waded into the river. My first instinct would be to start of with nymphs or a dry fly to imitate naturals, but for some reason I tied a #12 Zulu onto my tippet and focused on a piece of water just beneath a riffle.
I made two or three casts and nothing happened, I then made n cast and the fly landed just behind a big rock, and I gave the fly two twitches. I saw a flash, it was a very nice Brown Trout but it didn’t commit to the fly. After getting my breath back I continued the retrieve hoping that the fish would take the fly, and then it happened, as if in slow motion and the Trout ate my fly!
I let it turn with the fly in it’s mouth and then made sure that I set the hook. It then struck me that it was going to be a challenge landing this fish on my 2wt! I did not expect to catch anything above 10 or 12 inches if lucky, therefore the 2wt was my rod of choice, but it was a decision that I almost regretted!
The fish jumped a lot, and everytime it leapt out of the water into the air and shook it’s head I was sure that I would lose it. It then headed down stream and my little Sage Click III reel screamed like a Banshee and my palm could barely keep the fish from racing away like a runaway train.
It then went into a deep pool, and fought at the bottom, and then came up again to jump out of the water to try and get of the fly. The fight was intense and felt like it would never end, but after a while it graced me with it’s beauty and I landed it with my smallstream Japanese curved net made my Mario Geldenhuys.
This is when I realised that this was one of those fish of a lifetime. The Brown Trout Hen measured just over 26 inches and weighed 2.6kg. Thankfully my wife was there and took some photos after which I then released the amazing creating back into the cold and crystal clear river.
Now for some this might not be such an amazing fish, but here in South Africa we rarely get wild Trout that grows over 20 inches in a river. I have only ever dreamt of going to New Zealand to catch a 25″ + wild river Brown, but as lady luck would have it I caught it right here in the good old RSA.
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