Recently I read an article on The Drake Magazine’s website called “The Haunted“, by Will Rice. It brought back to memory a moment I had on the Brule River a couple weeks ago.
Stephen Rose and I had just come back to the river after lunch on our second day of Steelhead fishing. The first day yielded a couple of nice fish and a couple of smaller jacks. We had help from Steelhead ninja Tim, of Fly By Night Outfitters that first day out, and we were hoping to capitalize on what we’d learned.
We spent the morning of the second day fishing a section of river we weren’t familiar with, scared away from known sections of the river by cars. Bad choice. We were too far downstream, there weren’t any holes, and there weren’t any fish.
So, back to after lunch. We parked in a familiar place and hit all the spots Tim had shown us the first day. As the afternoon passed, and our casting arms tired, it was looking like a bust. But then, on a long downstream drift, the indicator popped. It didn’t look like a snag, and indeed it was not. I raised my rod tip and pulled on the line with my stripping hand, and I had a fish on!
The fish only stayed under for a second, then made a big, broad-sided leap fully out of the water. I got a look at it and it seemed to be a hand over two feet long. Nice! Back into the water splashed the fish, and that’s when Stephen looked upstream and saw the aftermath of the acrobatics.
And then, it was gone. Snapped off in a flash. My exhilirating connection with that beautiful creature was severed. FUUUUUUUUUUck…..
I can still see that silver slab arching its body above the water along the far bank.
After the echo of my yell died down, I reeled my limp line back in and sat on the bank. Then I tied on another rig and got back at it.