Angler error = FAIL = Mike wants to puke
Took a minute to gain my composure, as I despise losing fish when it is completely on me, and continued on down the river. Cast after cast I followed my fly through the drifts and worked it like a rented mule. Was enjoying being out on a sunny, albeit cold, day when I got a glimpse of 'the spot'. It is one of those knarly overhanging limbs that sticks out over a downed log emptying in to a deep run...and you know there is something nasty down in there. I made my way carefully in to casting postition and fired a golden cast up under the junk and over the snag and then time slowed down. Strip...strip...strip..................BOOOoooOOOMMM! I hammered the business end of the fly home, as if the fishes strike itself didn't do the damage, and it was game on. A few minutes later, after some hard runs and barrel rolls, I coaxed the fish in to the shallows and he calmed down enough for Ron to expertly slide his head in to the net.
Taped out at just over 25" of Mad River buttah. Midwest gold. Pure adrenaline. The kind of fish that feels like you are shaking a grown man's hand when you tail it...AWESOME.
After a couple careful shots the beast was returned unharmed to be caught as a 27" beast next year.
No 1X heavy hooks will do here. This fish put a serious bend in a serious hook...this WAS a Gamagatsu SP11, now it will adorn my hat for a bit.