Could you put a finger on your best day ever fishing? I know exactly when mine was, well at least so far.
My dad and brother were visiting us in Glenwood Springs to fish for a few days in early fall. The weather was cool and crisp in the mornings leading to temperatures I live for in the afternoons––a perfect 70 degrees––with the sun high and no wind.
We played around on the Roaring Fork River catching respectable trout during the weekend, while blue herons soared overhead near their nesting trees perched over the river and Mount Sopris rising above it all.
Once the crowds went back to school and work, we planned to head up the Frying Pan River to a stretch I knew by heart. I’d had great days on this stretch during many seasons and wanted my family to experience it for themselves.
We stopped at Taylor Creek Fly Shop to pick up a few flies and hear the latest banter of happenings in the valley. With the stories of great fishing fresh in our minds, we were nearly drooling as the Pan meandered downstream as we drove upstream.
Piling out of the car, we clamored into our waders and boots and stepped into the cold water abuzz with rising trout. We each went our separate ways with just enough distance to keep us busy for hours but within eyesight of one another to cheer on hook ups.
I immediately — literally on the first cast — came tight to a nice rainbow, slipped it back into the water and kept picking off rising fish, one-by-one. After too many fish to count, I paused to watch my brother having just the same success.
With cheers coming from each of us, I settled into a side channel, and starting at the top, landed trout after trout. Nearly each cast had me tight, but I had my eyes set on a rather large rainbow rising consistently on a tricky seam.
This fish didn’t get that large by accident. He was picky and in a tough enough spot, that I had to bring my A-game. I changed flies numerous times and altered my cast to get the perfect drift.
Once it all came together, I connected with this hog of a fish. I was whooping and hollering to get my brother’s attention, but he, too, was locked in a good fight. This fish took me upstream, then down, then around a boulder and back. With 7x tippet on, I had to fight cautiously, but I eventually landed him.
Granted, I’m a small human, but my fingers couldn’t wrap around it’s caudal peduncle, and I was shaking so much from adrenaline, that it was difficult to hoist him up, whistle and show him off. But, I managed.
I’m not sure how many fish I caught that day, nor do I really care, but I’m guessing it was over 50. This fish took the prize of the biggest and toughest I ever caught on the Pan. Of course, I don’t have a picture to help tell the story, but I promise it happened.
I can hardly wait for my next “best day ever” on the water. How about you?