One evening early in the season, I was fishing a favourite local river and decided to wade up a familiar stretch of water that leads to a nice hole, which I had known to hold some nice browns. This stretch of water is generally not very productive. Some riffles and runs where you will usually find a few small fish, but not many holding spots for larger fish until you get further upstream. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot during my trek.
I was moving rather quickly, casting dries behind rocks and under overhanging trees when, on a cast to a spot I didn’t really expect to hold fish, my fly disappeared. On my first pull, I thought it was a snag, but the fish soon moved out into the middle of the river. This was not deep water, maybe 1-2 feet, but somehow this fish was managing to stay on the bottom, pulling me upstream. It was getting dark, so I couldn’t see what was on the end of my line. I was nervous, because my 3wt rod and 6x tippet weren’t a good match for this fish.
A couple minutes later, with the fish making a run upstream, the tension on my rod suddenly let go and the fly came hurling back towards me. Only… there was more than a fly on the end of my line. There was a small, lifeless trout on it. I must have hooked this little guy after which something larger decided to make him dinner, I was shocked!
This is water that, to the best of my knowledge, has only brown trout, with perhaps the odd brookie. I’ve never caught or seen seen anything else here. So that begs the question, what exactly did I catch? If this was indeed a brown, it was a mighty large one, easily the largest I have ever hooked. Was it possible something larger was in the river? I’ve heard rumours of Atlantic Salmon adults being planted in this section of river, but I had never known it to be true. Unfortunately, I’ll never have the answer and all I have to show for it is a picture of this little trout and another big fish story.
Heart pounding, feeling both excited and disappointed, I continued upstream to spend a few minutes in some better water before calling it a night. A few casts and my efforts paid off with this nice brown. Memorable night on the water, to say the least!