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- Category Hunting Stories
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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
I set the hook, my rainbow wrenched like a rodeo bull. The snout was whipsawing in the water and mini waves are thrown airborne. My fly was easily visible in the clear water. It looked a third of the way back on the lower right side of the jaw. It felt solid.
The punch from under the water was the trout disappearing. Line is just zapped and gone. I think the set hook, hit jaw bone.
Little wind strewn ripples were now replaced with line slicing and arcing through the channel. This safe harbor off the McQuade road is rapidly becoming a favorite haunt of mine. I have this entire marina to myself. Its twenty degrees this morning and the skim ice has been forming on the rod guides and my nose. I do not care how cold it is any more.
The rod is snapped to a bent, twisted form held and silent, but pumping active. My personal nine foot dowsing rod, as if on steroids, and my adrenaline is no match. I'm starting to shake.
Strong shouldered run now and going deep. The reel drag is finally earning its engineering degree. This bow, when I first saw it, I’m guessing about seven pounds. I start to strip line and gain back some. The fish is flashing past the shore. Round two and the drag is surrendering again.
The fish looks long and it is pulsing as it goes by me. The rod is being jerked and pulled and line is snatched and I try to palm the reel. Lake Superior is so clear. The trout is in a crystal clear liquid window.
Shooting out of the water like sent from a gun barrel and then splat. A sideways fall to the surface. Droplets held silver and only for an instant. I have the rod tip high and lower it as fast as I can. I have two jackets on and one is my bulky outer parka. Cumbersome, warm, and definitely in the way. It's all fish now. I'm just hanging on and hoping.
The rod is a two piece but acts as if the top third suddenly has a spine, it lances stiff as the fish slams line through the guides. The vibrations wriggle out along the spine of the rod and disappear and become solid pulling sensations. Five foot rip and I yield. Long swinging round house run and I yield. Unseen and underwater the fish is figure eighting at will.
Under my breath, I keep repeating, what a fish. And the fish is now suddenly chugging along the bank. Still pulling two to four feet sections of line. It's very cold this morning and I did not check the wind chill factor, but my brain is aware; this fish is no longer taking forty foot runs.
I'm winning. The struggling rainbow is now, as if in a small water pen. No sides but just splashing and thrusting in direct center stage of me. Brilliant red wash of color along the rainbows cheeks makes me want this fish. Its lunging and tugging against the rod strain but I m gaining. For The first time it's laid on its side now and I get a very good look at the Kamaloop. Its adipose fin is clipped and I already got this guy on the broiler tonight.
Faint run and I gather line, then I reel. Lying over again I figure the trout is all but played out. I cinch the fly line against the rod, gently guiding it now for shore. I reach to grab the sidelong trout's bellowing gill. When the line snaps at the fly the fish only goes from laying sideways to gilling heavily and upright. One tail push and out into deeper water. Just levitating. My fly sitting like a bug on the trout's lower lip. I watch and shiver. The fish just melds sinking and swimming deep, out of sight.
My breath plume is a large exhaust cloud from inside my chest. It floats out over the lake surface and I notice again the rippled water surface. Did all that just happen? The end of my line, absent the fly, is part of the answer and so is the uncontrolled shivering of my two hundred pounds. Fish won, me zip……. Empirical data.