I got to fight the biggest buck of the season on the bottom 1/3rd of my rod after it exploded...and I decided to keep fishing. Damn near had it landed, and lost it to snapped tippet. I knew the knot was sketchy, but I figured I was leaving soon (rod had broken) and the odds of a hookup were small. I did get a great look at him, and managed to recover the rest of my rod. He was wild, so I figured he was close enough (2' or so away in clear water) to count as good enough. I could have babied the leader and fought him till he was a corpse, but I'm not interested in that. Rest of the season was a real treat. I tried some methods I don't usually use, feel like I developed a low grade mastery and caught fish when I am certain I would otherwise have been skunked. Fished some new water, found some new holes. Even made it to the OP at the end of the season. And other than seeing people launch and quickly vanish, we never had another angler closer than a 1/2 mile the whole day. I must really smell bad or something. Cannot complain about this winter.