- Jul 7, 2021
Awesome story. I remember the first time I ever hooked into a fish of notable size and I remember it to this day - It still is my favorite memory from all of my fly fishing adventures and thousands of miles traveled. Your story is especially cool because you stalked this fish, knew his address, and went back and retried until you found success! There is more success coming your way my friendIn January I was fishing that little stream in Harrisburg that has wild browns in it. I had had limited success here in the past with the water being so clear and the fish so spooky(and still having a lot to learn in my part). I caught a few very small browns which I was actually quite happy with since it was my first encounter with wild trout. One day when I was about to head out, I floated a San Juan worm under a dry fly through a hole that I just knew had some fish in it. I was standing up above the hole on the top of a cut out bank, using a tree to try to disguise myself, so I could see my worm through most of the drift. As it floated by a rock, I saw a dark form dart out and and eat the worm. I set the hook and felt the weight of the fish. My heart started thumping, but before I could get too excited I saw the flash of his belly and my fly came wizzing out of the water.
He has haunted me ever since. I returned multiple times with him in mind, and even saw him come out of his lair again to eat another offering but I set the hook to early in the excitement of seeing his dark form attack my fly.
Yesterday I had about an hour to fish. It was the most beautiful day of the year and very warm. I was worried about the clear skies but I thought I couldn’t stay inside.
I came to that hole and fished a dry dropper through again but had no luck other then some tiny hits from some creek chubs. I needed to leave but had heard the from some of the wise people from here on PAFF that a white wholly bugger worked well in clear water. So I pulled the last one out of my fly box and tied it on. I don’t really know how to fish a streamer in a tiny creek so I flipped it around through the pool and could see the fish acting excited but didn’t get a hit. Finally I cast above the pool into the shallow fast current and left it dead drift right past the famed lair. You can imagine my heart rate as the dark form darted out and ate the bugger. I set the hook and…
Nothing. I must have popped it right out of his mouth or maybe my anticipation got the best of me again. Standing downstream and above the pool makes for some awkward hook setting angles. Any ways I decided I still had a chance since I didn’t think I had touched him. So I took a moment, collected myself and did the exact same catch. The next moments when pure joy and excitement! This time as he came out I paused for a second before setting the hook. It worked! Fish on! The short fight before landing it in the 10-12” wide steam was filled with “don’t get of, don’t get off”! Here is the result. The blue on his jaw and the fine detail of his scales is beautiful. Maybe not huge for most of you but it’s my PB for wild brown and it’s extra sweet after stalking this fish for the last couple months. Mission accomplished! View attachment 1641229654View attachment 1641229653View attachment 1641229655