MOMENTS 02: “Horseshoes”

You have to be lucky in life.

This day was a pain in the ass for how strong the Nor’Wester became. It was a monster. Casting was nearly impossible. Spotting was nearly so as well: clouds whipped past us at 140+kmh, the sun flashing in and out like a strobe light was a murderous pupillary reflex. I gave up on the dry fly hours earlier, fishing double naked tungsten nymphs. Cross-stream a big, dark shape clung to the bottom along the edge of the weedbed, stationless, waiting for the weather to stabilize. It was by chance this scene was caught on camera as I was yelling at the sky when the wind dropped below 100kmh and the sun stayed out for 10 seconds. I simply shot “I’m going for it” and pounded the nymphs best I could. A scant few seconds drift and a vivid take before all hell broke loose.

I wouldn’t normally show the full fight with a fish, there’s simply nothing exciting for you to see that adds to the experience. Except in this case. From the time I hooked up I was at its mercy. When it decided to go ’round the backside of a bankside stump I had no choice but do cast a slack line loop over the top of the stump and sprint for the far bank. When I realized the trough dropped to 5 feet deep I had to do a Superman jump to make the bank.

From there it was a chase and a “hold on”. I knew where we were headed with this one, it was just a matter of time. When it jammed up and under the undercut, I was simply gutted. I decided to go for it and dropped my body into the water to try to reach up and under to pull it out. It was jammed. In a last ditch effort I slid my foot down my leader and kicked the leader down and out from the bank. Sheer luck, the huge rainbow dropped out. The 3x held.

Sorry the last part of the fight wasn’t captured. We decided to simply go at the fish and I put the guns to the 4wt as AJ put the camera down and ran alongside and netted it just around the corner.  ~ Dave

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