Story written by Chandler Taylor:
“Hunts differ in flavor, but the reasons are subtle. The sweetest hunts are stolen. To steal a hunt, either go far into the wilderness where no one has been, or else find some undiscovered place under everybody’s nose.” Aldo Leopold accurately described what may have been one of the most exhilarating fishing experiences of my lifetime
Every time I’ve peered over the beaver dam of piled up sticks and logs, my eyes come across a Brown or Tiger fish, sometimes a couple, cruising through the pond and chasing bait fish.
The only difference about today was a whiteout blizzard and Christmas was right around the corner. As I peered over that familiar pile of sticks, I saw a familiar tiger trout that had managed to elude my fly multiple times. Every encounter we’d had in the past ended with the fish slinking away after realizing my hand-tied imitations were only imitations of the small brown trout and not the real thing.
A few false casts and my fly landed far enough in front of the fish to not spook it. Looking through the branches, I couldn’t see exactly what the fly was doing in the water, but I could see the bright green and silver silhouette of the fish hugging the silty bottom. A quick veer to the left and a flash of its white mouth signaled an eat. A sharp strip of the fly line, and the fish was off.
The fight lasted only moments as the trout raced away from me, upstream, and into a shallow riffle that fed into the pond. Realizing there was no escape upstream, she did a 180 and swam directly towards me, aiming for the undercut bank which would end the fight with snapped tippet. Luckily I was able to apply the brakes enough to slow her approach enough and allow my friend to slip the net and land the fish.