27 inches on a size 18.

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
My friend Robbie and I decided to do a little fishing this afternoon, since the weather was in the low sixties. We met up at the local shop at noon and did the usual stop at Taco Hell for lunch. After downing something that no self respecting Hispanic would ever eat let alone call a taco, we headed for the river. We headed down to a nice hole that has a large old snag downed in it. I started bellow the snag and Robbie above. I worked my way up to the snag with no love, only spooking one nice fish. Robbie worked the water ahead of me pretty fast as he wanted to head up to the head of the pool. I made my way around the snag and saw a fish rise just in front of it. I made two casts and fish on. Landed a nice 16 inch bow that made several aggressive runs before coming to hand. While fighting the bow I noticed several larger fish following him around the hole. After landing him I traded out the X flouro for some X and my secret caddis puppa pattern. I dropped it bellow a very large rubber legged stimmi that was guaranteed to wake any trout up.

After rigging up again and checking all my knots I made a crap ass cast that left me wondering why I ever started in this sport. With the feeling that I had to redeem myself on the next cast I took a breath and made one of those Lefty Kreh tuck casts that make you realize why I love this sport. My stimmi landed almost on top of the caddis puppa. About ten feet into the drift the stimmi shot under the water. I set the hook and did not think much of it. The fish just sat there in the current for what must have been a good ten seconds. I held pressure never once thinking this would be a fish of a lifetime. Then it was like a light switch went off in the big old trouts head, and he realized he was hooked. Off to the races it was. he took me up stream, he took me down stream. Several times I had to really put the wood to him to keep him out of the downed snag. I fought him for about ten minutes and finally landed the guy with my friend Robbie's help. He tapped out at 27 inches and that's no joke. This was the biggest rainbow of my career so far. And to make it all the sweeter, I landed him on X with a size 18 hook.

A post script to this. After taking my hook out of his mouth I noticed that is was almost bent straight. Another minute and I wouldn't be here writing this report. So now here are the pics. And no long arm filter was used on this camera.


John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
:thumb: Very nice! did it actually fit in that net?


Not a chance. Robbie and I were debating on what to do for about 5 minutes during the fight. There really wasn't anywhere to beach the monster. Robbie ended up scooping it up head first and holding the tail.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Damn! Nice fish John! I'm sure it was landed on 6x though, so ... :clown: couldn't resist, since no one else had!

The weather looks awesome, I thought the big winter storm was coming in! Keep posting that fish porn for us out here!

Bill :cool:


Tropical member
Great report! John!! Congratulations!

Amazing secret #18 pupa! You should frame that fly with your photo!

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Great story John - thanks for sharing. I'm not what makes me more jealous though: the big fish or weather in the 60s ;)



Active Member
Big fish + little fly = interesting story. It's always a hoot. The biggest steelie I ever caught on the trinity in California was caught on steelhead tactics. But it had a size 20 or 22 disco midge with some trailing 5 or 6x tippet stuck cleanly in it's lip! the angler who lost it probably never had a clue how close he came to the fish of a lifetime:p

Richard E

Active Member
Great story and pics! Your bio doesn't say where you live; in what state were you fishing that you could find fish of that size and water like you were fishing? I'm not looking for the GPS location or secret rock to stand on, etc. . . . :thumb:, just curious.