I have no care to go after reds, saltwater scares the stuff outta me. But I would take a fiesty 8" brookie or brown over a 5+ pound largemouth any day. The only bass that has ever taken drag out on me was the biggest striper I've caught, but multiple trout have taken drag out on me. They're just absolutely crazy.
Well guys I have read all your posts and I feel that I am in good company. I too use to tournament fish with the bait casting reels and 7' heavy to medium heavy casting rods. I lost interest in this type of fishing about 3 years ago when I read an article a guy had written who lived on a pressure fished lake in California. He was writing about using extremely light tackle to catch hugh bream, spots and largemouth. That article change my way of fishing forever. I started using micro light rods 7 ½’ long with small spinning reels spooled with 2 to 4 lb. test line using tiny grubs, rooster tails, and even live leeches about 1/2" long---this method of fishing has enabled me to catch 3 times the fish I use to catch with the heavy equipment. Landing a large 1 lb. bream or a 4 lb. spot or even a 4 to 5 lb. largemouth takes a lot of skill especially using this type of equipment. It has become a challenge now to land the fish that I use to jerk out of the water with heavy tackle. The micro learning experience has lead me to trout fishing a couple of years ago and I am hooked forever---why because I had developed a love for landing the fish with light tackle before I tried to land the weary trout. I have found that the fight the trout puts up is just as exciting as landing a large beam or spot on light tackle. I think that one of the most appealing things about trout fishing is the challenge of getting the fish to take your fly and once hooked seeing the fish go airborne. I am still in the learning stages and will never learn all there is to learn about trout fishing but that is what makes the sport so appealing to me. There is nothing like being on a beautiful stream on a warm summer day or an early spring day trying to land the trout of a lifetime. I can’t wait to get back on the water as soon as the weather gets right.
I haven't hooked into any large trout (that I know of) with a fly rod. I hope I will, but I'd be perfectly happy catching the fish that I do. My biggest trout was ironically my first trout (on the fly). I was fishing with an elk hair caddis on the Caney when a 14" brown SLAMMED it and went airborne. It was a tough fight and I thought I was going to lose him but he was hooked behind that flap in his jaw, it wasn't going anywhere.
I to used to chase the bucket mouth's, still do occasionally on the fly rod.
Ounce for ounce, i find it hard to beat a bluegill
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."~Henry David Thoreau
I grew up fishing bass and panfish from one side of the family, trout, salmon, steelhead from the other side - not with fly (wish I knew then what I know know)...but anyone who knows me knows I'll fish for anything by any method, I just prefer the fly rod. I thinks they all have something to offer, and more so with a fly rod. I kinda gave up texas rigged bucket mouths after the ten pounder on the wall (back when I mounted fish) My first love is trout, and specs being the the top because the environment and you've got to love a brookies enthusiasm and ease to a fly...
But I tell ya, If you really want a pursuit and a tough battle - though not glamourous -check out a poor mans bone - carp on a fly will give you all you can handle both in angling skill and fight...had one last year straighten out a 1/0 saltwater hook on me...the brute had some shoulders for sure...but its a blast and something else to add to joy of our sport.
May you find a rise in every puddle... - WATERBORN