Gazette Article - How To Properly Handle Trout!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Get Some.

I recently downloaded my favorite band Chevelle's live concert movie called "Any Last Words?" and I got to the song called "Get Some" and it reminded me of a very special moment that I shared with a group of my good friends from Arkansas, Chris Holman and Jeff Shy.  A while back I landed a 27 inch hen brown in 11mile canyon on a trip with my two pals. 

The story goes that they were here in our beautiful state of Colorado visiting in the fall mostly because they were inspired by some of the pictures of large healthy trout that I had been flashing at them.  The planned three day trip started in 11mile canyon and took us on to several other locations including the East river for kokanee, and the legendary Taylor river and South Platte river below Spinney to do what I affectionately  refer to as "Hog Hunting".

Though we landed fish none of them were the size and quality we were after so to me the trip up to the point of the video I'm about to show you was a failure.  If you fish the Dream Stream in the fall or the Taylor river and you don't come home with pictures of a ten pound trout then the trip was a failure.  Guys would tell you otherwise but they're full of crap.  Most anglers that spend any amount time at those two fisheries are there to catch those legendary pigs that these rivers are capable of producing.  Don't get me wrong you can still enjoy yourself, and any time spent fishing is time well spent, pig or not.  But don't kid yourself because the odds are good you have already seen the pictures and heard the stories and most of you go to those places for the same reason I do.  Hog Hunting.  Moral to the story you ask?  We got our butts kicked almost the entire trip by large crafty fish.  Yep Im man enough to admit it.  Butts kicked.

Of course if you want the fish to bite just turn your head and let yourself be distracted by something and you're garunteed a strike.  "Oh look at that Bald Eagle soaring over our heads"  then you look down to see your indicator rising up from the bottom of the river and the flash of a fish turning to it's side and spitting out your bug...  Irony in flyfishing?  No way!  As irony would have it on the third day we went back to 11mile canyon to fish where we had started.  This is the last place any of us expected to land a pig after 2 days worth of fishing to pigs.

I told the fellas that I had seen a great white shark in the canyon that first day but had spooked it when I walked up on it.  When I told them the actual size of the mighty fish they all listened but didnt look convinced, besides mentally they were at the Taylor river where they knew for a fact there are hogs.  A 27 inch fish in 11mile canyon is pretty hard to believe even for me and I landed the thing.

So on the third day after getting owned by stretches of river that are known for piggies I was more than a little cranky and had my mind set I was going to try and salvage the trip by sneaking up on the hog I had seen on day one, and at the very least bruise the big guy's lip and it's ego. And I did. Chris Holman who I've known for a long time knew what my intentions were the moment we all decided we were going back to the canyon so he positioned himself in a good run where he could see the action if it happened and 20 minutes after I started working the fish he looked up and saw my rod bent down to the reel and immediatly started recording.

You want to talk about pressure.  Our morale was low and my friends drove all the way from Arkansas to see an epic fish landed.  And there I was with an 11mile canyon fish of legend wrapped around my line on the last day of a tough and dissapointing trip with my fishing buddies recording all the action.  I was so nervous and yet so focused on the fish I could feel myself breathing heavy, and yet I wasn't aware of my surroundings outside of the water I was wading in and the fish.  It's so surreal to completely let go and just react to whats going on when doing battle with a big fish, and that's a feeling that will never go away.  I was so pumped and relieved when the fish came to net that I had this overwhelming surge that started at my feet and traveled all the way up my spine to just scream, "get some!"

These are the kind of experiences you will never forget as an angler and I still have people asking about it in the shop to this day.  Some of you readers may have already seen the video and not known that it was me attached to the other end of that fish so here it is.  Produced by and starring me (Jon Kleis) with music by Chevelle.  Hope you enjoy!

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