One lost fish. Which one single lost fish experience haunts you the most?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by gldntrt40, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. gldntrt40 Member

    Posts: 178
    UFO over the city
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    So, why is this guy here??? I am new here but why are some people on here? to just s**t on the parade?
  2. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,592
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    Try not to let it bother you gldntrt40. Some folks just like to stir up the $#!t. Some folks feel better about themselves by putting others down, rather than refrain from posting. Got to have thick skin on here.
  3. Travis Bille Active Member

    Posts: 651
    McKinleyville, CA
    Ratings: +360 / 0
    This summer at lake lenice, I went out at night and decided to try a mouse pattern. I would cast it out as far as i could, then kick and strip as fast as I could. I tried it for a while and finally I got a huge strike! The moon was in front of me, and I saw what i think was a gigantic brown break the surface of the water and go back down. My line went slack. Dammit! I have yet to catch a brown on a fly, and that would have been a most epic way to do it. Seeing the bastard right before it came unbuttoned was the worst part. If it stayed out of sight it wouldn't have been a big deal
  4. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,263 / 0
    lame. Good thing you're here to keep us all rooted to the REAL world.
  5. Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

    Posts: 276
    Tacoma, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I could care less about what I've lost. It's all about the take for me especially when sight fishing. Like when the water is high enough at Chopaka to create a band of clear water between the shore and the tully weeds. Pop a dry damsel in front of a cruising trout. Great fun watching them cruise up and suck it in. Lose them in the weeds have the time.
  6. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,111
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +465 / 1
    When I was in high school I weasled access to two farm ponds in the lake goodwin area in this nice housing development. Everyone in the community pitched in money to plant the ponds with kamloops rainbows but the true gems in the ponds where the largemouth bass that lurked the reedlines. I fished it fairly regularly in spring and fall for 3 years. I would always catch a few nice trout on dries or streamers, get bored (stupid easy trout) and start after the bass.

    Farm ponds where my specialty at that age, having grown up fishing my families ponds in duvall I was pretty dialed into the challenges. Large, seasoned bass in small water are wise. And extremely tough. They are supremely aware of their surroundings and seem to know when to hide. These two ponds where the best i had ever fished. I had a day where I landed 6 bass over 5lbs. A rainy windy shitty post spawn day where the fish were roaming the weedlines and just crushing spinnerbaits ripped as fast as I could move them.

    As with any farm pond there is always one grandmother bass that is as old as the pond itself. I heard stories of this bass from one of the homeowners who put them in all those years ago. And after I caught my first fleeting glimpse of this thing it became my mission to catch him. What I remember most about her was the size of her eyeballs they were like marbles. I had spotted her a couple times but it was always as she was hightailing away from me and always in this one little weedy flat and it was ALWAYS as I first approached the pond. I had it decided for quite some time that if I was ever gonna catch this fish it was gonna be on the first cast. Because any disturbance to the pond put this fishes nose in the thickest weeds. So every day that I fished it I really made that first cast count.

    One late April afternoon I tried a different approach. I followed the treeline well out of sight and circled around the pond opposite of the reedline where I concentrated my ceremonial first cast. I ducked down beneath the reeds all the way into position. 6 foot medium heavy fenwick HMX spinnig rod, 10# maxima ultragreen, small swivel with 5 feet of 12# flouro. Green pumpkinseed senko. 5". Unweighted. Still ducked down I slung a cast over the reeds and my senko plopped down in the middle of a small 10' x 10' open flat flanked by reeds and a thick band of milfoil spreading out into the depths. The dinnerplate.

    I let the senko settle to the bottom under no tension. All the ripples disappeared and still I let it sit. I imagined that bass hearing the splash from inside her den. And lookin out and seeing this worm flutter to the bottom. I imagined her curiously gliding over and having a staredown. "Really guy? This is my box buddy? You're just gonna sit there?"

    No exaggeration I let that senko just sit there for the better part of two minutes. My slack line draped over the reeds leading back to my position crouched down behind a wall of vegetation I reeled up some slack and gave the worm the SLIGHTEST of nudges with the rod tip. Almost instantaneously I felt the tiniest tap like a raindrop hitting the end of my rod. The line started to swim back towards the reeds. I counted to 2 reeled down on the slack and set as hard as I could. As I stood up and my head cleared the top of the reeds I could clearly see that the fish shaking its head and winding up for the jump was sure enough the megladon I was after. She tilted back and jumped shaking her head so hard her gill plates rattled like a kids toy. The moment she landed she beelined straight to the reeds. I put the full brakes on her, hand clamped to the reel and without any hesitation my 10# maxima blew up and the fish disappeared in the jungle. Honest 10# bass. Enormous fish.

    I've lost lots of good fish but fishing for steelhead and salmon and even trout is different because size can be a function of luck. You never know when a big fish could grab on which is part of the allure but also makes it easier to shrug off sometimes. But there was something really heartbreaking about losing that bass that I had been after for so long in a pond about half an acre in size. The next year the pond choked out by unhindered weed growth and oxygen levels dropped low enough to kill off the whole pond. RIP megladon.
  7. Tool Fly Member

    Posts: 126
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    Great story, Sean--well told.
  8. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 200
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    You're just picking on the small fish if you're not feeling the danger. Try leadering some billfish over 200lbs. You can either get skewered by a bill or dragged into the depths if you get the leader wraps stuck on your hand.
  9. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 734
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    Great story! It brings back memories of fishing lakes as a kid in the mid-west. Although I cannot lay claim to ever hooking or catching a bass such as the one you described, I occasionally glimpsed trophy size bass fleeing to the depths like some ghostly apparition. To say the least, those fish are indeed haunting!
  10. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,472
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,615 / 0
    Thank you. That's what I was hoping to read. You're only fighting a fish if that fish can actually cause you personal harm. I've thought about trying the tropical blue water fishing, but I think the excitement would wear off a lot after playing - I mean fighting - a big fish for 2 hours or more. That and being a puker.

    Gldntrt40,

    I'm here because I enjoy fishing and enjoy discussing topics related to fishing, especially fish ecology, management, and sport fishing. I offer a perspective different than some and wasn't trying to s**t on your parade. While having a minority opinion, I noted that I'm not the only person posting in this thread who isn't haunted by having lost hooked fish, regardless of their size. Value diversity just a bit, man. If we all thought the same, that would be even more boring than my point of view.

    Sg
  11. gldntrt40 Member

    Posts: 178
    UFO over the city
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I just say if the topic is not worthy of something other than "this doesn't apply to me", why comment at all??
    I won't go on the handgun topics (I did once and I am done) or duck hunting because I have absolutely nothing to say or add and refuse to jump on just to drop a stink bomb negative comment when others have positive things to share.


    And above, only if the fish has a chance of actually harming the fisherman is it worthy of fighting? I hope you find your wading for sharks with hot dogs in your pockets, hand-line forum to get the responses you are after. I started the topic and all were great answers except for your sour response that you hide behind your reasoning because you claim you wanted only worthy, real death battle with fish??

    We will have to agree to disagree and that is ok.
  12. Lance workin' on it

    Posts: 43
    Bainbridge Island
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Most recent haunting was the loss of a rod and fish. This weekend on the Upper Bogey hooked something large on the swing, set the hook and snap. Line straightened and broke off the intruder taking 3 of the four sections of my switch rod with it. The worst part is I just got the thing back from a repair the night before!!
  13. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,263 / 0
    ouch!!!! Sorry to hear that. I hope you at least had a spare and could salvage the trip
  14. LCnSac Active Member

    Posts: 515
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +115 / 1
    21 years ago, on the Lower American. I hooked a beautiful steelie on a 6 wt. rod and never saw it. A guy on the other bank was ecstatic, saw the fish the whole time, said it was a good 10 lbs. It got into water I couldn't but it was a memorable 10 minutes.
  15. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,978
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +645 / 0
    There are more than a few fish in my past that haunt me, here is but one. It was around 1993, on the east coast, western Long Island Sound, October. I had gotten into a nice groove of living like a Vampire as I was fishing for the fall Striped Bass run down the New England coast; fishing all night and sleeping all day, and living in my Plymouth Voyager. One night I was on the jetty wall between Sherwood Island and Burying Hill, at the mouth of the tidal creek, fishing the outgoing tide. At about 3 a.m. I got an enormous, heavy pull on my line, and the fish immediately ran down the rip, downcurrent out into the Sound. The fish was a heavy, bruising fighter that chugged it's mouth along the bottom, shaking the fly like a Bulldog, running about 100 yards, then easing up, I put the wood to em' and worked the fish back almost to my feet... ZZZOOOMMM!!! and away she ran again, (the really big ones are often hens), down the outgoing tidewater again, chugging and thrumming the fly and line, yanking like hell all the way, back out to the 100 yards mark again, and easing off again... I worked the fish back, pumping, winding, lifting, a constant moderate pressure all the while. This well might be the biggest fish I had ever caught and I was really wanting to get it in to see and release. Just as the fish got to within a dozen yards or so of me I felt a disheartening "PING!" as the line poped back slack a few feet, the hook was out and the fish was gone. I stared off into the blackness of night, out over the dark waters into an inscrutable void. I looked at my fly, the hook was almost straightened out completely.

    I walked back to the van, tucked in my gear, warmed up a can of soup and pouted. It was almost 5 a.m. before I drove home in a distracted muddle of mental images. I knew I had not done anything especially wrong, that a fish can be lost even when we do it right... Yet still I doubted. I got home by six and went straight to bed, slept fitfully all day, and then got up about four in the efternoon. I began a new; I changed the flys and leader; I checked all of my knots right back to the spool; I checked all of the rod connections; checked the reel and seat, the drag etc, all of the guides... I filled the thermos and made sandwiches, loaded up the van and drove back to the shore an hour away. It was sunset by the time I got to the parking lot, a clear starry night of cool crisp air awaited me, there was a moon coming on, the water looked good. I took a walk, had some coffee and a sandwich, checked all of my gear again, and I waited. And I waited some more. By midnight I was fishing again, in the same exact spot as the night before. I knew it might be a few hours off, but you dont soon forget something like the last fish you caught, especially when it is that big and that tough. I fished into the small hours of the morning, half embarrassed at the idea of hoping to meet up with anything that good two nights in a row. But the fall Striper run there is only weeks long some years, and so when you know there are BIG fish around you shut up and you fish. By 3 a.m. I was feeling like a fool... But then I remembered that the tides advance by 50 minutes each day... At almost four I was so tired I was just lobbing the big white Deceiver fly out there into the darkness, "Cast and Hope" Joan Wulff called it.

    And somewhere around four thirty a strange thing happened- the line yanked tight with a hard pop, and a big heavy pull drew my flyline out, down the creek, downtide, out into the darkness, headed toward the oyster stakes, and the big fish was solidly on, chugging and wallowing on the bottom, shaking the fly hard and running like hell...all the way out to the 100 yard mark. And once again I turned a big hard fish back as it eased, working it back in almost too my feet, only to have it run back out again, just as hard as the first run, just like the night before... Good God... It can't BE!... And so it went another time, another deep thrashing run, a few tail smashing breaks on the water lent an authority to this fish, it felt angry too. I finally got this fish back in, into the shallows and the wash at the bottom of the jetty wall in about three feet of water, and it popped off- just like the night before- and swam away, off into the night, out there beyond any hope I had of ever casting a fly, back to South Carolina or wherever they all go. I was in shock. It was as if the same fish had come back, thats how it felt anyway. I cranked the fly in and inspected it; there was a tiny patch of white meat attatched to the nearly straightened hook, just behind the barb. I pulled it off the hook and put it into my mouth, It was salty and sweet. "That is a hard way to eat a Striped Bass" I thought. I had some charts of Cape Hatteras in the van.
  16. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 863
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +332 / 0
    Great story Bob. I was really hoping you would land the 2nd striper. Makes me want to try out that fishery some day.
  17. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    This is a fun thread, some great stories. I've lost my fair share, but two specifically stick out in my head. Oddly enough, both were in the Bahamas.

    The first was a 25-30lb permit on Great Inagua. I was fishing the flats with Anil and our Guide, Ezzard. I had my first ever shot at a school of permit, I was shaking and made a terrible cast, probably 10 feet short and a few feet right of the fish. Lucky me, they all changed direction and went right to my fly. I followed up the cast with the worst trout-set you can imagine, pulled the fly right out of the fishes mouth. With most permit, this would spook the fish, this one had to be hungry. He came back and hammered my fly. I spent 45 minutes working the fish towards the the boat. I got it within 10 feet two times, but both times he took off running. After that 2nd time, out of the corner of my eye, I see a 12+ foot lemon shark cruise on in. My fishing buddy, Anil, asks our guide if he's ever had a shark eat a hooked permit before. Our guide said "Nope, and I've been guiding for 40+ years".... Of course within seconds of asking the shark b-lines for my fish. I dropped the drag to nothing hoping the fish would get away. The reel screamed for a couple seconds, then went silent. I'd just fed my un-deserved first permit to an enormous lemon shark.

    The second was a year or two later, I was on a sailboat in the bahamas with 5 other anglers (including Brian O'Keefe!) - I managed to hook my first Dorado by a patch of sargasso. I didn't have much big fish fighting experience at the time, especially not with jumpers. I worked the fish right up to the boat, when it decided to take a flying leap and give me some serious head shakes. Being the inexperienced fool I was, I kept the line tight and broke it off right in front of us. The big bull slowly cruised away on the surface with my fly hanging out of the corner of his mouth. I felt like he was giving me the middle finger.

    A little redemption on both though. Probably 30 minutes after loosing my would-be first permit I managed to land my first double digit bonefish, an 11 pound behemoth that put a smile right back on my face. As for the dorado, 2 or 3 hours later I hooked and landed my first sailfish. I'd been clowned by my friends, and educated on how to deal with big jumping fish. I used my experience to my advantage, and bowed to the pez bella until I got it in.

    Thanks for posting.
  18. gldntrt40 Member

    Posts: 178
    UFO over the city
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I agree, there are some amazing, amazing stories on here.
    The amount of detail must show how vivid this stuff sticks with an angler!
  19. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,592
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    Yeah, and that (about) 15 lb brown trout I lost on the Clark Fork never gets bigger as time goes on....or was it closer to 16 lbs...:hmmm:
  20. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Posts: 2,572
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    The halibut that spooled 600 yards just south of Ketchikan, pissed since it burnt my finger