View Full Version : Most Memorable Catch

05-03-2007, 02:52 PM
In keeping with MTN_TRT Q&A session, I have another question. What's the most memorable fish you have caught?

Mine would have to be the first brook trout I caught. I caught it on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon above Chimney Tops. It was a fall afternoon and I was rock hopping my way upstream. I came to a picture perfect plunge pool being fed by 2 small waterfalls. The waterfall on the left side had a back eddy where leaves were collecting on the surface. The current would swirl the leaves, and every so often I would catch sight of a small trout hiding under the leaves. It would charge out, take something off the top of the water, and scurry back to its hiding spot. I had the perfect casting position with a huge boulder hiding my presence. So, I tied on a BWO parachute and made a quick sidearm cast. After about the third cast I finally hook the little jewel. It was about 5" long and beautiful. I carefully removed the hook and released it back into its domain. What a great fish.

I tell you this also, that stream will give you a workout!

05-04-2007, 04:27 PM
Actually, I come up with 3

1) In the exact opposite of the way it usually is, I taught my Dad to fly fish when he was in his early 60's. We went to Kettle Creek in PA, got into a pretty good caddis hatch, and I watched him catch his first trout on a fly rod. The fish itself was was unremarkable - being there to see it happen was great!

2) Caught 2 - 25" to 30" range Inconnu in the Yukon on a 6 wt. trout rod back in the late 90's. Helicoptered into a creek mouth on a large lake - we felt like we were the only people who had ever been there. Awesome place.

3) I had a day that makes all the bad days worthwhile. In September 2005 I spent a day midweek by myself on the Strawberry River (below the dam) in Utah. I was the only person in the canyon. Fished a 3 wt., caught bigger than average fish on Stimulators, made all the right casts, didn't fall in, saw mule deer and moose, got great pictures, got browns, cuts and brookies - everything went right that day. It'll probably never happen again, but I'll always be able to close my eyes and be there.

Of course, there's always the unknown - the most memorable fish just migh tbe the next one!


05-04-2007, 05:37 PM
One that I can visualize at a moment's notice is a rainbow, about 15", in the John Muir area of the Hiwassee. Saw him rising near the bank in about 18" of water, under some overhanging trees. Dropped an Isonychia hen wing spinner above him, and he came up for it as natural as can be. The river rocks on the bottom, water clear as air... it's still a beautiful picture in my mind's eye.


Paula Begley
05-04-2007, 07:00 PM
I gave this quite a bit of consideration. I was thinking about my first tarpon...or my first bonefish...or Salmon, or any amount of other fish I have caught.

What I came back to was the first fish I ever caught on a fly rod. When I knew absolutely nothing about fly fishing...Byron had done all my rigging, shown me where to cast...(it wasn't really a cast, btw) and I caught a fish. I will never, as long as I live, forget that adrenaline rush. I was hooked instantly.


05-04-2007, 09:06 PM
Even though it is kinda corny...everyfish Ive had on a flyrod. Everytime I catch a fish and land it I always have to take a deep breath. Like "Man, that was awesome."

05-04-2007, 10:16 PM
I hooked a 18" rainbow about a hundred yards below where I caught my first fish on a fly rod. What makes it the most memorable is that my 6 yr old son was with me and I walked around behind him and handed the rod over his shoulder and into his right hand. I held the line in my hand so I could play him down. We landed that fish together and it truly was a special moment for me as well as my son. He never said a word the whole time because he was grinnin ear to ear and holding on to that big rainbow. I clipped the fly off and still have it to frame for him some day.

05-04-2007, 10:18 PM
If we're limiting it strictly to fly-fishing, I would have to say the first two wild trout I caught just last summer up in Virginia - looking back, considering how low the water was and how spooky the fish were, I was very lucky to get those two small brookies.

Now, if you expand it to fish caught with any sort of gear, I could say my first fish when I was about 3, my first bass, etc...

05-04-2007, 11:20 PM
I hate to deviate from the topic. I can't really think of a single fish that stands out on the fly. What comes to mind is an experienc on the Little River several years ago. I had never caught any trout over approx. 10". I was fishing one of my favorite stretches of water on the East Prong only about 300 yards long. I was fishing a beetle. In this small stretch I caught 5 browns in about 30 minutes ranging from 13-15". I didn't have a tape to measure the fish, but after having caught a lot more since then I feel comfortable that I am not exaggerating the size of these fish. I fish this stretch everytime I am there, and haven't caught anything over 10" since. I think I just caught it on the right day and time that these fish were there and feeding on terrestrials.

Most memorable fish in my life... Bluefin Tuna off Hatteras, NC. 274 lbs. This was not on a fly of course.


05-05-2007, 08:35 AM
Most memmorable. Took my daughter, age 6 at the time, Striper fishing in NC's Pamlico Sound off Roanake Island in the fall several years back. Drifted parrallel to bridge that connected the island with the mainlane. In four hours time, three of us, manged to catch over 70 with the smallest being 28". My wife hooked into a 1993 F150 that was crossing in front of us at about 60 MPH on the caseway bridge above. Beautiful coloration, a brilliant red, Boy what a fight that guy put up. Manager to cut the line just in time. Couldn't have keep that guy either, I believe they were also out of season.

05-07-2007, 02:35 PM
Mine would be a beautiful little Brookie up in the George Washington
national forest last spring, my first Brookie. He took a PMD, I has seen him
sucking the top a couple of times.
I was taking a few Crappie on my 3 Wt. Saturday near the house, I let my
8 year old daughter catch a few, when a 4 pound largemouth bass sucked
down my nymph! It took about 20 minutes to land him to the boat, that was
on a 7.5 ft. 5x tippet and 3 Wt, 6' 3" rod. What a fight! I've got some pix my
little girl took and I'll try to put em on the warm water board later this week.

05-07-2007, 06:26 PM
The first trout I got on a dry fly. A 8 inch rainbow from a rocky stream in North Ga. I drifted a Royal Wulff under a rhodo limb from upstream, saw the splashy take, set the hook, slipped on the wet rock i was standing on, fell and broke my rod, and pulled the little guy in by hand. My rod was broken, but I was so amazed that the fish actually hit that strange red and black looking thing with fuzzy white wings, i didn't care. I went back to the car and put the flyreel on a spare spinning rod i always carried and fished the rest of the day without catching anything else. But it didn't matter...I'd caught one on a dry fly and I've been hooked on dries ever since that very first time.

A foot long brookie from a high elevation stream in NC takes a very close second place. Probably the biggest I'll ever catch. What made it so nice, was that my wife was there. Oh, and the fact that she got the pic. :) Honestly though..I say a foot long...it could have been 7 inches, or 8 even....you know, the further i get from that day the BIGGER THAT BIG OLE BROOKIE GETS! :) LOL

Here he is now! Any guesses as to how long he is? I do have big hands, but I don't know that he was a foot long. I guess I could measure my hands and guess....but I'll always see him as a foot or more! hahaha

PS,........IF YOU KNOW THE CREEK, PLEASE DON'T POST THE NAME. It's a busy place as it is. Of course, I know I'm posting the pic, so let your heart be your guide.

Ok, I just posed the same way holding a towel, and tried to get my fingers as close to the original positioning as I could - esp. the distance between my right pinky and left middle finger. Then, we tried to conservatively guess the distance of the tail overlap, and the bit of jaw sticking out. ( If anyone has a more scientific way of getting the measurement, please let me know, btw - i'm sure there's some way to do it. ) anyhoot, conservatively he was between 13 and 14 inches. I used to have a mark on a rod where his tail hit, but I don't have the road anymore.

So, can I change my vote.......if so, I think I'd like to swap my 1st and 2nd place fish! Even if he's only 11 inches. :) And the best thing is, I'm going back there again in three weeks. If I top this one, I'm going to hang up my rod and take up curling and figure skating. :)

Gerry Romer
05-07-2007, 09:38 PM
I guess the real question is:

"Whose foot are we talking about?"

Beautiful fish at any size! Try looking at him and your hands through your photo viewer and enlarging it until the hands on the screen are a close match to your real hands. I've done that a few times and can usually match up a watch strap or some such and get an accurate measure after the fact.


05-07-2007, 09:48 PM
While my first fish in the Park certainly memorable, I have to go with my first trout "slam" of brook,brown, and bow...

and then a close second would be catching westslope cutts in Glacier National Park with my dad (we never got to hang out much growing up)to pick up a fly rod, so I gave him a crash course and we managed some nice fish that day...

05-08-2007, 05:58 AM
Gerry, that's an awesome idea! I didn't think about using photoshop! I could probably cut my hat brim out, measure it and then chop the hat brim to match up to the fish and get a good guesstimate! Every year I tell myself I'm going to make some inches marks on my rod, just in case i luck into a nice wild fish, and every year i forget to do it. Of course, I don't usually have a need for anything beyond about 4 inches! haha:) thanks for the idea!

05-08-2007, 10:54 AM
You mean besides my wife "catching" me! :biggrin:

Elk River and 13 inch rainbow. My first time on a trout stream.


05-08-2007, 02:03 PM
My most memorable was my first time with a flyrod in 1993 while I was living in CO. A good friend of mine convinced me that I should go fishing with him, he thought I might like flyfishing. I didn't realize that he meant a fishing expedition...

I assumed that we would go someplace close. I was wrong. We drove three hours west on I-70 through the mountains, then another hour on a forest service road to get to the trailhead. Then hiked 2 miles down into a canyon. So after five hours we finally managed to start fishing. We managed to fish for about four hours, but it was the most magical four hours I have ever spent on the water. Although it was my first time even casting a rod and I was just learning (a process that still continues to this day), I managed to catch over 20 cutthroats and my friend caught at least 60-70. The voracity that these fish took a Royal Wulff still has me amazed to this day. It was clear that fewer than a dozen people even fished there each year.

We had to hike for two hours to get back out of the canyon (about 2000' elevation change, but it seemed like a lot more) and then the long drive back to Denver (I can appreciate anyone who drives ridiculous distances to fish for a weekend! like from LA...), but it didn't matter, I was on cloud nine.

The whole experience, more than any particular fish is what got me hooked, and keeps me going today.

05-16-2007, 05:29 PM
3d day of 3 day trip into Gunnison, CO. Raining to beat the band. 2 buds already broken down rods in the boat waiting on me. Not amused I was still fishing, threatened to leave me 2 miles up stream from takeout. River getting muddy. Reeled in and started toward them 300m downstream. Noticed bright green strip of water at very edge of stream, and tied on sparkley Chernoble ant as I walked toward them. Started casting to about foot wide clear water as they howled at me to hurry up. Took 18" brown under overhang about 25m from boat and right in front of buddies. Priceless.