What. A. Day! They don’t come along very often but today was a memorable one. I nearly didn’t go. Feeling a bit rough with a cold and seeing the chance of rain and cold almost put me off. I wasn’t feeling like a cold, wet day in the boat and this has been the only way to get to the fish recently. Still, a few hours fishing before the rain sets in might be ok. As one of the members at the lake reminded me “A bad day fishing is better than a good day working!”.
At the lake it was cloudy, misty and cold. I wasn’t anticipating much action but some of the guys already there were pulling fish out and the fish were in a lot closer. The water was murky due to all the rain we’ve had so maybe that has pulled the fish in more. So, with fish being caught I tied on the Invictas and other flies I’d had success with the week before and spent the next 2 hours walking around the whole lake with no takes. I wasn’t holding out much hope for a good day. I even managed to slip on one of the wooden platforms narrowly avoiding a dip in the water, a broken rod and arm! I got away with a few bruises luckily but it hadn’t done much for my mood.
The wind had no picked up so I tucked into a corner with the wind coming from my left so I could drift the line across in the wind. I put on a black/lime green tadpole and a red head cormorant (they like a bit of red in this lake!) and sat down on the bank for some ‘gentle’ fishing while a nursed my injuries. Before I’d even had chance to sit down I was into a fish on the tadpole. And then 10 mins later another on the cormorant. I was starting to feel a little better!
My 3rd fish also took the cormorant and this fish was a belter! A 6lb brown that did not want to come in to the net. After 5 mins of pulling on this lump it finally came in, with the hook barely in its mouth. What a fish. Probably my biggest brown to date. Things were definitely looking up. To be honest, I’d have been more than happy with this 3 fish but I just kept on catching. More small rainbows, another beautiful brown. I’d hit 9 fish with just an hour to go so I decided to keep the tadpole on but try some other flies so that I didn’t hit my limit too soon. Suddenly a fish took my fly and shot off into the middle of the lake and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It took so much line I had to play it on the reel and gradually get it back to the bank. It turned and came towards me and after some frantic winding I managed to get some tension on it again. No matter how hard I pulled I could not get this fish to go any other way than what IT wanted to go. I had to hold my rod like I was shark fishing with the butt resting on my stomach otherwise my arm would have given up. By this time 2 other fishermen had come over to take a look and when we all saw the fish for the first time near the surface we were all amazed! It was truly a monster! Playing fish of this size on fine tippets is always a scary thing so I took my time and tried to get it in. Each time it came near us it shot off and I had to start the process all over again. It was a very tiring 10 mins but finally I got it close enough to get it in the net. It took 3 of us to get it out. It didn’t even fit in my net! Lucky one of the guys (Thanks Graham) had some scales with him so we weighed the monster… 14lb of very fat rainbow! My biggest fish ever.
So what started out as a not so good day ending up being one of those days I won’t forget in a while. Its going to be hard to beat a 14lb’er!