Weekend Report Last cast fish and "The Duke"

Discussion in 'Mississippi River Basin' started by WILDCATWICK, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. This weekend we hopped in the old fish truck and headed towards what would hopefully be some fishable water in the Driftless area. The Price of gas doesn't ever prevent us from going to a stream that requires a drive but it will determine wether fish truck comes out and plays or if the car that get's great MPG rolls.

    The reports from local anglers said that the water was still fairly clear. But that was several day's earlier and there was considerable amount of snowmelt and run off in the ditches on the side of the road as we neared our destination. With maybe only an hour or two of daylight left we needed to choose a stream that almost never gets blown out. So we choose what is typically the clearest river in the area and it has no cattle in the upper parts.

    Bingo. River had clearity of about 3 1/2'. My wife managed to bring 4 brookies to hand before darkness subsided the fun. I on the other hand brought ummmmmm uhhhhhhhhh..........nothing! I had on about a half dozen but they all popped off. I tried Little Rascals, Sparrow Nymphs, Prince Nymph, Crystal Bugger, and Marabou Muddler. I went lighter tippet and sharpened every hook......nothing. The wife was very happy to catch some fish but more so because she out fished me. That made me pretty happy too.:idea: She caught them on a small stone fly with rubber legs & on a Rattler.

    Saturday we decided to check on some other streams. They were all pretty much blown out. High and no visability. It didn't prevent us from trying some large, noisey, and bright streamers. No luck. Time to move on. After looking at 3 others streams we finnally found another one that had good visablity. Water temp was around 40 degrees, air 30 degree, and skies were sunny.

    The fish did not seem to like anything I threw at them. Sparrows, Muddlers, & Zoo Cougars brought nothing but a few soft bites. As the sun set low and my splitshot and wooly worm was getting knotted up on itself I decided to make one last cast. As I casted up into the shute of a riffle I kepts a tight line as the wooly drifted past me, then I followed it to the swing below and gave a couple of little strips. I was rewarded with sharp tugs on the other end. The fight was on.

    I asked my wife to try to net it when I get it close enough to the bank and explained I had on really poor tippet. Lazyness may just cause me to get skunked two day's in a row. As the fish fought I let the rod tip take all the punishment the fish could dish out. After several minuits my wife made a scoop with the net and we had a 15' brown staring us down. Out came the fly, back in went the fish, and we left with a fish on the last cast of the day. (Picture will be added once film is developed.)

    Sunday we decided to go back to the same river as where we caught the 15". We fished from about 11am-3pm. Air was 30 degrees and water was 40 degrees. Sky's were partly cloudy. There was a good BWO hatch. The fish were not keying to them on the surface thu. After several hours of streamering and nymphing and only getting a few bites it was time to just sit. Sitting on the side of the river I noticed a flash just below the surface in some flat water towards the end of a very long run. I tied on a size 18 Pheasant Tail flashback threw on an indicator and casted quartering up stream. Made an adjustment as it went by, then the indicator went under. Not a hard jerk but more like an atheletic sock that got water logged. It slowly went under but kept heavily going down. I lifted the rod and felt major resistance then several big shakes.

    This fight was on. The fish stayed toward the bottom for several minuits. Then it came near the surface giving me a glimpes of it's size. It was a big one. It immediatly took off. Taking drag out fast. I had to use a bit of pressure to turn him around but not so much as to break the 6x tippet. After several drag screaming runs he was getting tired. I tried to find my way into the water off the bank. As I got down on one knee I sooped the small net up to his head. HE WOULDN'T FIT IN THE NET! His head was too tall and wide to comfortably fit in the net. The second attempt I tried to scoop him tail first. With a quarter of his body still hanging out I managed to pull him out. This rainbow measured 20" (conservative) and looked like a football. As kids we use to throw around a football that was called "The Duke". He had major girth and I named him "The Duke" right then and there.

    After releasing "The Duke" I sat on a log on the side of the stream and just soaked in the fresh air until we decided to leave a brief bit later. Only two fish for me on the weekend but they were memorable, "the last cast fish!":wink:
  2. Steve

    Steve Staff Member

    Nice report. Thanks for sharing.