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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sitting in my war room, sort of pouting, I was trying to recover from a recent trip to Wyoming where I was almost killed by a giant brown.
No ordinary brown this one, because he weighed about 19lbs. 15 3/4
ounces. You might say a 20 pounder, but of that I am not certain. And I would never tell you, my dearest and only friends, anything of which I am not absolutely certain. You may trust me on this.
Anyway, I took off from the Olympics at dawn and drove until exhausted. I camped at Cle Elum.
And so it went for days until I reached this tail-water fishery in southeast Wyoming. I knew the big fall spawners would be there and I started to tremble with excitement. But the weather had turned outrageously hot. I mean in the plus 100s. The water was cold but the air was unbearable. I just could not fish.
So I got in my vest and took a rope out with the idea that I would put a loop over this big mid-stream boulder and tie it off under my arm pits. In this way, I could get on my back and take a nap out in the middle of this riffle which was conviently placed below the rock.
But then I remembered that the gates at the dam might be opened at any time and a surge of water would gush downstream. Not a good idea.
My dog, smolt,and my parrot, Oleander, were half-dead from the heat and I had to keep pouring cold water on them to keep them alive.
Oleander wanted a cracker but I was reluctant to give him one because he has a very bad bladder condition and the salt on the crackers makes it much worse. You see, he urinates almost every five minutes and while I have taught him to fly out of my pocket when his time is nigh, he often ignores this and my pocket gets wet. I will not store my dry flies under his vest pocket for obvious reasons.
Smolt has a little trouble every now and again with his bowels, similar in timing with Oleander. Now, it is true that his doggie cookies do not amount to much, but for what they lack in size, they make up for in odor-a most wretched stench! So I have had to cut a small hole in the bottom of my vest pocket where he resides. With a little judicious jiggling, I can clean up things quite quickly and if anyone of you should have the misfortune to step in his cute little doolies, may I say that I am sorry.
Well, enough of their little health problems. I just want to say that I am sympathetic with them because I have both of their little problems myself.
I hung my vest up on a branch of a large shade tree, cottonwood I think, and I laid down next to the river, shaded, but still hot.
I extended one arm into the water which was quite deep here because of this undercut bank. I dozed off for a few minutes and then I had this weird sensation, like someone was sucking on my fingers. It was the fingers on my right hand, the one that was in the water.
Being crafty around trout, I made no sudden movement but slowly peered over the edge of the bank, only to see this truck-like brown trout, the 20 pounder! Well, 19# 15&3/4 oz.
Slowly withdrawing my hand, I rolled over to contemplate my next move.
First, I named the trout, "Wilbur," after an old dog of mine who was about the same size and they even looked alike. The question was easy: what had been up with Wilbur? The answer was, of course, more difficult. Obviously, he had been trying to eat my fingers, or was he intent upon pulling me in for eating with my pets as hors d'ouevres? I shuddered at this, although I admitted that it would be a fitting end for a man who had taken so many trout in his lifetime.
I would catch Wilbur. I was sure of this. So I rolled over again very slowly to take a peek to see if he was still there. Yep, all 19lbs. 15 & 3/4 ounces of him.
I got this bright idea to tie a fly onto my finger, ease my hand back into the water, and see what Mr. Suck Fingers was going to do then.
A size 16 Rio Grande King came to mind but then I thought that might be too small and he would rip the hook straight, seeing as how I would not be able to let him run more than 3 or 4". No, we'll have to go big here I said to myself.
I got out all of my flies which, because of the thousands I carry, I do this only once or twice in a season. Otherwise, I fish with about 6 or so.
Where were my tarpon flies? I had a whole box even though I have never fished for tarpon and I may never do so. But if I do, I'll be ready. I finally found the box under my bonefish flies and, no, I have never fished for bonefish either.
I selected this huge (5/0) red, purple, hot-pink, black and brown striped number; I think the name is Teeny's Tiny Timothy.
But what about presentation? Obviously the best idea here would be to lash the fly (can you call a quarter of a pound of steel, feathers and hair a fly?) onto my index finger. I would then poke my fingers back into the water and try to present a natural drift. If he tore my index finger off (likely), I would at least have the rest of my fingers.
The thumb was out because it would be too crude.
I had other problems: what if he pulled me in? What if he bit my whole hand off? My head?
So I went back to the tree with my vest hanging in it, and I got out a rope to tie myself to the trunk. It was 5/8" nylon braided anchor rope. It would have to do.
So yes, I stuck my hand in and yes, he damned near tore my arm off in his first mad dash. I could only let him run about 3" before my arm was bent pipe straight. After several angry jumps, he decided to slug it out deep like most browns do. So, there I am, strung between the fish and the tree, banjo tight.
This guy comes along and I feel so ridiculous that I am speechless and he creeps on by me, saying nothing, carefully steping over the rope, and turning around backwards so as to keep a constant eye on me, he backs into the willows and disappears. What kind of a jerk was this? Didn't he think to ask if he could help me? At least he could have asked how was the fishing? Man, these Wyoming fishers are really weird!


3,835 Posts
Dude, you're flucking killing me. A bird with increased urinary frequency, a dog with irritable bowl syndrome and a killer brown trout named Wilber. I’m laughing so hard my gut hurts and the kids are waking up thinking it is time for school. I can just barely believe you gave it three inches of run, but a brown trout on a 5/0 tarpon fly. That is a little hard to swallow.

Thanks Bob, just what I needed after work tonight.

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