Friday, October 31, 2008

The Day of Days - Fish of a Lifetime

......A brief interruption on my "always late on posting" blog to bring you the latest fall fishing adventure.......
Word seems to really spread fast, so I'd thought I post it. Here is the short of of it -->



Photobucket



Madison Brown Caught 10/28/2008
photos by Grizz / Tree Photo by Me

Measured 32 1/2" by 18 1/2"...
the math says it's 15.9 ~ 16.4 pounds.
http://flyfishingresearch.net/images/FFR_Fish_Weight_Lookup_Table.pdf

Rod - Echo 9' 6wt
Fly - Bennet Stone (A.K.A Pat's Stone/A.K.A Rubber Legs)

10-12lb Leader









So many things were going through my mind.... I spotted the large fish holding in the tail end of the run. The first cast produced a swipe at my fly. The second cast I saw "jaws" swipe at it... a different fish? Must be. This was confusing... what size are these two fish? Perhaps the first fish I saw was not 20" but really 10" and the second fish is the 20 incher? Another cast produced...drum roll... nothing. I thought about the situation, then thought about it again. I have a sink-tip on and a large streamer, damn. I thought about switching colors, reels, lines, tippet, leader and a hundred other things. Thinking I was faced with a large 22+ fish I didn't want to blow it... If I would have know it was 32" I would have blown it for sure ; ) I left on the sink-tip, didn't bother with an indicator and tied on a SJ worm figuring it's a probable take. I cast up stream and set the drift....rejected. Sh#$! Now what, should I make another cast? Change the fly? I opened my box and grabbed a Bennett Stone (A.K.A Pat's Stone / A.K.A Rubber Legs). A good drift produced.... a spook? Sh#$!! Damn!! F*^@!!!! The spook turned out to be more of a move, slightly over and up to the left, I can see it holding. To hell with it, I made another cast and drifted it down. The fish nonchalantly moved its head slightly over, did it take it? am I tight? what happened?... I set the hook. Nothing happened. I pulled again felling resistance but nothing happened. Am I snagged? A good hard tug awoke the beast. I now realized that this 20+ inch fish might be a little bit bigger, because it was running up river at will. The fish stopped at a near by snag before turning around for a run downstream. As it ran past me I saw the actual size. I believe I yelled "help" out loud : ) Not really sure why but I remember thinking how am I going to land this thing by myself, but I managed. The fish tried to do everything you can think of to get free. I would love to tell you that the fish fought for an hour but it was around 5 minutes. When it came to hand I realized how big this fish really is. Grizz called it a "Trophy's Trophy, it's what trophy Trout want to grow up and be". We were both so happy to see such a beauty. Truly a humbling experience.... Truly a fairy tale.... Oh how I love the Rockies.





I was shaking uncontrollably for awhile. A million thoughts were going through my head. Coming back to Rocky Mountain Trout after a Salt Water stint I feel its finally come full circle. This fish is what I have been dreaming about my entire life, since I was a Kid... actually I think I was dreaming of a smaller version of this fish but this will surely do. I never thought it would happen and honestly, a part of me didn't want it to for fear that the search would end. I enjoy the search more than anything, its actually what drives my fishing, my vision, my life. The finding part is supposed to be small teasers luring you back again and again, never to end. This is a Trout of a lifetime. I was at a loss for words then and still am now.
... I am so stoked and on the river I almost cried.


41 comments:

mike doughty said...

i'm in awe bryan. damn i can't even imagine the adrenaline rush that you had to be experiencing. truly amazing and awesome, awesome work!

John said...

COWABUNGA!

RnF said...

You deserved that fish. The search will never end, if anything, that fish will drive you even more to find the next one.

Great catch.

Wildnative said...

Holy cow! That is huge! Nice trout of a lifetime! You have done something that only a fraction of fly fishers will ever do. You are awesome and so is the fish. Congrats!!!

jabberwock said...

Holy crap that is a big fish, add to the fact that it was a river fish and not a still-water brute makes it a true behemoth. And I thought I was doing well yesterday with a 23 inch brown, but this fish of yours is truly epic.

Now I really wish I would have bothered you two more and tagged along, if for nothing more than watching the spectacle of you chasing this submarine up and down the river.

BLUEANGLER said...

Holy SMOKE!! SMOOOOKE!
CONGRATULTATIONS!!! Brother.
You deserve it! after all the "hard work"! Gezze... I would shake if I were there... I bet Grizz did a little dance after you land the fish!
Just awesome!!

Scott said...

Just straight-up nuts! Congrats. Goes to show that the people who work hard for something are the ones that get rewarded. I guess the only thing left is tarpon right? :)

flyfishingunlimited said...

Congratulations Bryan! Beautiful fish and thumbs up for the great job!!!

cheech said...

Holy crap dude... NICE FISH!

LenH said...

congrats
very impressive fish.

cutthroat stalker said...

WOW! Way to go!

-scott c

Anonymous said...

Nice man!! Way nice!! Could not have happened to a better person! Maybe it is true, that if you put your mind to anything dreams can come true!!

haley said...

As I said, you have only set the bar higher for yourself. Good work, I remember when you got back into fly-fishing a few years ago because you remembered how fun it is. Things have a way of playing themselves out. Good work BG. A lesson I am learning in life right now is: anything worth having takes work, if it doesn't take work it isn't worth having.

BG said...

Thanks for your kind words everyone... you guys are way to nice ; ) What an experience.

Jabber - Although it was caught in the river I'm certain that its a lake dweller. You area always welcome to join in when I'm in your neck of the woods. Thanks again for the info when I was up there. Many karma points to you.

Andy - I remember leaving the Salt and coming back to my roots. Its been a wild 25 years of fishing and I wouldn't trade any of it.

I find my self constantly sacrificing everyday necessitates to search for fish. I'm poor in the bank but I feel rich in my heart.

Thanks again everyone.

Steelheadquarters said...

Ahhhh.... The Beast has finally fallen! I guess you're blog has finally lived up to the Title?
Where to Now??

Indeed a fish of a lifetime, and props to you man, my heart was thumping for you!

Glad you took measurements and pics, now you can get that beast replicated and hang on the wall, to inspire future casts!

JayMorr said...

Congrats Bry! Great story and fish. You deserve it.

JayMorr

Deb said...

OOOOOOOOOMYYYYYYYYYGODDDDDDDDDD!!!!

I can only imagine the heart pounding exitement, terror and thrill of landing that brute! What a catch! I hope you get a big poster of that photo for your favorite room. I hooked a 30 incher once but with 6x tippet on a #16 dry who would have thunk it. I knew I was dead in the water as soon as I saw the fish porpoise. Bad attitude? Probably! But to land it, meant killing it and I knew it...so off he went. It was thrilling, just the same and for once I had a witness. You have done what very few will ever do. AWESOME!! I am in total awe.

Love your blog by the way.

Anonymous said...

Your Bio says it all brother in that you live for what is real.You inspire us all in the search and you have shown us how UNBELIEVABLY we can be rewarded! Thanks for sharing. (I'm 2 1/2 hours away, give me the GPS #'s PLEEEEEASE?)

BG said...

Steelhead -Great to see you around Herb!! I wondered where you went. Thanks for the kind words! I can't wait to see what you have been up to.

Jay - Thanks. Its been a wild ride.

Deb - Glad you stopped by!! Great story, you'll get your redemption!

Anonymous - email me, utahcutthroat.blog@gmail.com , I'll give you the exact location.

Slimmy said...

Dear Sir, unimaginable....I wish I could have seen it with my own eyes. Where are the RELEASE snapshots?? You did let it go,yes??

Mike said...

All I can say is sham-wow!! Crazy fish and great story!

Brent said...

Bryan,
Totally amazing fish dude. Congrats!

Stout_trout
Brent Stout

Anonymous said...

so it was a big hen???? was it spitting eggs or jizz!

BG said...

Slimmy - A follow up post will be coming soon. It should have what your looking for. Thanks for stopping by.

Mike and Brent - Thanks! It was certainly a sham-wow ; )

Anonymous - I think it was a hen. No eggs, no sperm, no fish and on "reds"... It was a bit early - pre-spawn.

Michael Gracie said...

BG - Rockin' good story - sounded like work, and business was GGGGOOOOOOOODDDD!

PS: the photographer deserves some pats on the back too!

MG

Multimer said...

Fantastic narrative of the experience. I particularly liked this: "As it ran past me I saw the actual size. I believe I yelled "help" out loud : )"

I think it's so great that unexpected big fish can still inspire just a twinge of primordial fear in us. I once hooked a big fresh Chinook while backpacking on a remote Northern California creek. When it flew past me downstream my first though was "whoa, i better get out of the water!" Beautiful encounters of fish and men. Thanks for sharing.

The Trout Underground said...

Very cool stuff. Rubber-legged anythings seem to be murder on big brown trout.

BG said...

Thanks for stopping by fellas!

MG - Your so right, Grizz did an outstanding job! I did tell him but I better tell him again huh!

Multimer - Thanks! Although I'm not much of a writer, I really do try to make it honest and entertaining... easier said than done, ha ha.

Trout Underground - very true!

editor said...

11/11

The 13.9 pounds is the old IFGA method. The new IFGA formula is 13.67 pounds. A formula developed by tests fly fisherman magazine ran in may 2008 say it is closer to 16.1 pounds.

Due to the fact the girth is pretty much the same for most of the fish, I would go for 16 pounds.

In any case, a great looking fish Bryan. Congratulations.

Marshall Editor
http://www.fly-fishing-colorado.com/wordpress/

NJ said...

You know you've got a great fish (and fish story) when other people start making it bigger! I hope it does go that big though.

wyoflyfish said...

Even weeks later, I keep returning to this post to marvel at this remarkable trout and the great story of your day. A wonderful post BG. Congratulations on such a great day on the water.

TANGLER said...

I just got linked to this blog. I can relate to all the mixed emotions of catching a fish of a lifetime.

Todd said...

20+ years as an outfitter and this is the first time I've been motivated to respond to a blog -- what an accomplishment -- a wild, perfectly-proportioned fish caught by a reflective angler. Now THAT's what it's all about.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Truly a remarkable Triumph! I still have goosebumps! I can't imagine your thoughts and emotions as you wrangled in this beast! Great job putting your experience into words. You are an inspiration to us all, not only as fellow fisherman, but as a noteworthy individual! Best wishes in all your future endeavors! Cheers!
J.T.E.

Anonymous said...

Great fish, great job, we all dream of "that" fish and you got her. Well done. One thing that you are leaving out of the story though bro is where is the fish now? After Jacklin's battle with the haters, I would put that out there if you did release it.

BG said...

Thanks for all the kind words! Many karma points to you all!

Editor - Thanks for the heads-up. I checked out the information and found the PDF file online. You are right, I was using a very old formula...the new formula is great ; )

WYOFLYFISH - HA, me to! Weeks later I still find myself checking my pics to make sure it really happened... it is a great fish. I'm so glad that you are stoked to see it. After all, its all about the fish!!

Tangler - Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you got the gist of it through my poor grammar and spelling ; )

Todd - I am honored that you commented on my blog! It's been a rush, and a great ride. The fish was brilliant, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I wish you well.

Anonymous2 - There is more to the story. I have agreed to share the great experience, the entire story will be available. I'm certain all your questions will be answered then. I'll post it as soon as its available. Thanks for stopping by.

mudboots said...

WOW. I caught the fish of my lifetime this summer on the truckee -- but it ain't nuthin' compared to this! Congrats! I hope you frame this and hang it on your wall for inspiration!

God Bless.

--Brian J.

Dave McKenzie said...

That is what it's all about...what an unbelievable fish.

Anonymous said...

What area did it come from? I guided on the Madison for years and was just curious.

Thanks,

Ronnie Hall

Samuel said...

I fish that stretch quite a bit and that is by far the best fish I've seen come out of there. Good job and good photos, you lucky bastard.

Ty Webb said...

Awesome! Awesome! And hat's off to you for loving him and leaving him.