Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mufasa shows it's sharp parts!

Made it out to the river to fish with my buddy Ron for the first time. I was pretty excited as the flows are still up and when I got my first glimpse of the river I was not disappointed, perfect greenish tint. We parked the first car and shuttled up to the top of the walk and not a hundred yards in I hit paydirt with a high-teens fish on. I played it for a minute then turned over my shoulder to holler back to Ron the obligatory 'Fish on', and the fish chose that second to bolt toward to main current and in seconds was directly downstream of me. Hook pulled...F.

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.
-mike schmidt


  1. Good Day,

    Buttah indeed! What wonderful color! Awesome!

  2. Great fish buddy! Looks like Mufasa got what was coming to him.

  3. Being relatively new to the state and fishing that river. I honestly believed a 10-12in fish was good size for that quiet little river. But after seeing this beauty I must re-evaluate my standards. Nice fish!!


  4. Dave, we are lucky to have it in our backyard! I struggle with how much exposure it too much for the river as it simply could not stand mass amounts of traffic, but that tends to run in cycles. The big fish do not come easy and rarely by accident. Target them specifically, be prepared to go home having not seen a fish, and stick to your guns. It is a tough river to get dialed in on your own, but the rewards are there for those willing to put in the time, hours and heartache.