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. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I've hooked and lost of lot of fish. None of them haunts me. Maybe some were larger than average fish, maybe they weren't. I don't see any reason to lose any sleep over it. Losing some of the fish I hook is just part of fishing. Maybe I'm really well adjusted. Or maybe I'm not one of those anglers who mistakenly thinks a big fish represents a phallic symbol.

    Sg
     
  2. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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  3. Stew McLeod

    Stew McLeod aka BigMac

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    On the Cedar river there is a hole I have passed over dozens of times and thrown a token dry at it every once and awhile but knew nothing ever rose there.

    One day two summers ago, I decided to bring along a second reel with a sink tip line and throw some nymphs at that hole. Second or third cast in I hooked onto the largest fish I've ever had on the Cedar. The type that make you think you snagged a log or fouled up in a rock until it makes a run or two. Lost the fish when it suddenly shot up out of the pool and became airborne and shook me off.

    I think about that fish every time I walk past that hole.
     
  4. a_fors

    a_fors Active Member

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    I would have to say that it was about three summers ago. I was out with my girlfriend and her little brother it was her first time salmon fishing with me. I told them if they saw the rod tip wiggle to just make a noise and I would hook the fish and hand her the rod. While showing her a dog fish, her brother made a grunting noise, i looked up and the rod popped out of the clip. I reeled down and set the hook. The fight was on, the fish just took off and i started chasing it with the boat. She did great!! The fish took five runs and almost spooled her while is was chasing it with the boat. On the sixth run the fish had just came right at the boat and she had her tip up and caught up to the fish and then it turned and started peeling line again and then it broke off! Broke through a 25lb freshly tied leader that morning. And it was Maxima so it was really like 30lb line. However she was rewarded about three weeks later with a beauty! I wish my first king was 21#! Cant find the pic on my computer though :(
     
  5. gldntrt40

    gldntrt40 Gone Fishing

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    IMHO I think a very large, healthy and beautiful fish is saying "this is the best of the best, a genetic masterpiece that nature has allowed grow from a pea-size to this beautiful specimen that will climb the highest waterfall, escape Orcas and survive the strongest conditions to reach the safest waters to ensure reproduction of the species. Much like humans are drawn to certain physical traits among other humans that usually correlate to a healthy "breeder"? Doesn't a big Angus bull or huge Bull Elk just look like it is pretty formidable on the survival scale?

    That said, it is not really how much a fish weighs that should make it a masterpiece but...... masterpiece fish usually weigh alot : )

    So I agree that a big fish alone may be overrated, depends upon it's context.. and how many 10 inchers it takes to catch a 20-incher to appreciate the big ones!

    I'd rather catch 10 inch native/natural bred costal cutts than a 10 pound alien freaky Rufus fish anyday.
     
  6. J R from The Yellowstone Gang

    J R from The Yellowstone Gang Fish all the Rivers of the West before your to old

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    I learned a great deal on two fish I lost. The first was in 2006 fishing the upper Elk river for massive Bull Trout. Our party of five anglers hired three guides for the day as we had never fished for Bulls. I was the first to hook up a big brute and after a long fight got him to the guides net. We set up for the required "Fish Porn" shot and I asked the guide to hold him and I'd hold my rod. Well surprise he jumped out of the guides hands before the shot. I did not catch any other Bulls the entire day. I know the guy felt terrible, but it could of happened to me as well so I learned to take a "safety" shot of my fish in the net first before attempting a "Fish Porn" shot.

    My next lesson occurred in 2007 also with a Bull trout but this time on Panther Creek in Alberta. I had no photos of me with a Bull yet so this time a huge monster grabbed my CFO Chernobyl in a back eddie by a large boulder we were off to the races. It took sometime to get him to my buddies net and just then the big Bull decided to go for a bit more fun and made a beeline away from the net. I of course had my finger clamped down on my line as I drug him over to my buddies net and forgot to release it...Bang the stress on the line took its toll and bye bye Bullie. To this day, all my buddies keep saying "Hands off your reel JR" every-time I catch a fish. Lesson learned. JR.
     
  7. Steve Vaughn

    Steve Vaughn Member

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    We were fishing the West Branch of the Delaware River near Deposit, NY. Can't remember the year but it was about 10-12 years ago and it had been a wet spring and summer and rained steadily during our week-long trip. By Thursday the river was essentially impossible to wade. Even though I was on a tight budget then, my buddy convinced me that if we wanted to fish we needed to hire a guide to float the river. We were lucky enough to find Jim Costolnick tying flies and willing to provide a 1/2-day float.

    The order of the day would be pitching heavy barbell-eyed, rabbit strip Zonkers within inches of the bank. Cast-strip-strip-strip-repeat. In the first couple of miles we only hooked one fish but rolled numerous impressive browns. I was fishing a 10' 7wt that handled these streamers quite well. Jim decide to rest for a bit just upstream of where a side channel dumped back into a rather deep run on the main river. I made a cast where the side channel dropped into the river and let the heavy streamer drop for several feet. When I tightened up on the line I was solid to something very heavy and unmoving. The only sign of life was a solid head throb. When Jim caught sight of that 7wt bent double he was on his feet grabbing for the net. In those first few seconds I know he and I were thinking the same thing - near this spot in March a local had landed and released a 13 lb brown. Well, that is all we had time to do as fish started moving for the main channel the hook pulled out and came flying to the surface.

    I have no idea what I was hooked to but I like to think it was one of those monstrous West Branch browns. I replay what I should have done differently and try to imagine if the whole thing would have been better or worse if I had gotten a chance to see it - not sure. This one will stay in my memory for as long as I fish.

    Steve
     
  8. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I once hooked a lingcod or halibut on a 7weight that ran 100 yards into my backing then I got him to the fly line and he bent the 5/0 34007 in half. I want that one back, or at least I woulda liked to see what it was...

    I also lost a 60+ pound king on gear that was chrome and jumpy

    I've certainly lost a lot more than I landed. If it wasn't that way it wouldn't be as fun or addicting.
     
  9. apistomaster

    apistomaster Member

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    In early September of 1980 I was fishing the South Fork of the Sauk River near Monte Cristo with a #14 Royal Wullf for the typical small Rainbows. I was using a 7-1/2 ft, 4 wt fly rod with a leader tapered to 6X.
    I was fishing a pool where a bridge once crossed when a very large Bull Trout rose slowly and slurped the fly then returned to the cover of the stubs of piling. That fish was about two feet long.

    I knew they were in there because I had spotted big ones in deep pools under sweepers through the clear water but somehow you never seem to expect one of these to take a fly. I never stood a chance.
     
  10. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    In a life time of fishing I have been fortunate enough to have caught a lot of fish of many species and even some large fish. As with everyone in that process I have also lost a lot fish. Perhaps the most important fish of my life is one that I "lost".

    For a time I lived in South America and would often fish with the locals whose preferred gear was hand lines. I was fishing from the shore with my hand line (150# mono) when I spotted a large muddy area and throw a whole shrimp on a 3/0 hook in the area. When nothing happen I wrapped the line around my hand and re-arranged some of my gear. I felt a "tap tap" and quickly set the hook. Everything immediately jerk tight around my hand. I was sitting on a large rock 4 or 5 feet above the water and the monster that I hooked was pulling me down the rock towards the water. In spite of my frantic efforts I was unable to free my hand. I dug my heels in a crack in the rock at the water's edge but the fish continue swim towards Africa pulling me erect and just as I reached the "tipping point" I "lost" the fish - the hook had straighten out.

    The monster was most likely a cow ray that weight several hundred pounds and I seriously doubt that if I had not "lost" it I would not be here to tell the story or had more than 4 additional decades of fishing.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  11. Bob Winters

    Bob Winters New Member

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    It's interesting how many of the responses are in reference to the Satsop River, because my most memorable lost fish was also on the Turnow Branch ( middle fork Satsop) in the early 1970's. That particular winter hosted a terrific run of very large steelhead mid-January to the end of February. I landed a 22# hen mid January, the next weekend my buddy landed a 25#buck. The following weekend, I hooked a steelhead that made the 2 previous fish look small. When I first hooked it, it flashed under the surface and looked like someone turned a full length wardrobe mirror on its side. It immediately jumped and we collectively gasped "Oh my God!". The steelhead was by far the largest that me and my 2 buddies had ever seen, easily 30#. It jumped 2 more times in quick succession. I was standing in waist deep water, and it shot downstream, then actually circled upriver behind me before I could catch up to it on my reel. It then ran to the outside of an upstream rootwad, then shot back downriver. We jumped into the driftboat and rowed upstream to free my line, got it free, then pushed downriver to catch up to the fish. When I caught up to it, it shot back upriver, got around the same rootwad, and broke me off.

    That was many years ago when catch & release was practiced infrequently, although I personally released a good number. There is no doubt that I would have kept that fish. I have strictly practiced catch and release for the past decade or more, and honestly I'm haunted by the memory of killing that 22# hen. Now that I look back on the monster steelhead that I broke off, in retrospect, I'm glad that I lost it.
     
  12. gldntrt40

    gldntrt40 Gone Fishing

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    Wow! Crazy!
    With 150 pound test line (understanding no reel for mechanical help), what were the normal size fare and species were you after?
    Still must have been big fish?
     
  13. gldntrt40

    gldntrt40 Gone Fishing

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    A ton of great stories keep coming !
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  14. Jmills81

    Jmills81 The Dude Abides

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    A 20 plus pound silver bullet on middle Hoh on my first trip to the OP 3 years ago haunts my dreams to this day. Had it to my dads hands to tail 4 times, only to have it pull out and swim away. I might or might not have thrown my rod on the shore and swore up a blue streaked storm
     
  15. TD

    TD Active Member

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    My brother & I skipped out of work one afternoon to fish a small river off of the westside of Hwy 2. We've been fishing this river since we were little kids. Our father introduced us to this river as his father had him. The river never produces large fish but there usually are plenty of them and they are feisty. We waded in and started working our way upriver. My brother had worked his way up river a bit cherry picking the easy spots. I had been taking my time more and exploring every likely spot with my size 12 orange humpy. I spotted a short stretch of soft water that was shadowed by overhanging brush. Salmon berries I think. I cast my fly upstream of the water several times trying to get the fly to drift just right and pass through that soft spot. After several tries I finally managed the cast and drift that I was looking for and to my surprise a fish rose and slurped in the fly. I set the hook and the fish immediately bolted from its' hiding place and over the rocks to the next pocket below. I must have hollered out or something because my brother looked back to see what I was up to. Then the fish leapt out of the water and we both could see that was no 10 inch trout. He came tromping down stream and was digging his camera out. I worked my way down the rock step so I could land the fish in the pool it had run down to. This fish was only about 14-15 inches but it was fat, bright, and healthy. This was a rare fish for this little river. The fish tired and I led it over to the shallow water where I was standing. My brother moved into position to get the picture and grabbed the leader and reached down to cradle the fish for the picture. As soon as I reached down the fish flipped wildly and with me holding the fine leader the fish easily separated the fly from the leader and swam away. My brother gave me a very hard time about grabbing the leader. Repeatedly telling me, "you never grab the leader because then you have nothing to absorb the energy". This was not a large fish by general standards but it WAS a large fish for the river. I think the reason it has stayed with me so vividly is because it was a difficult cast that took several tries to get just right. Then to flub up the ending of an otherwise fine bit of fishing just has stuck with me and I actually dream of that entire event sometimes.