Beautiful fish Vito!
Not too many Chicks make it on here;). Twitch is a real musky huntress. She is a frequent client of ours in Musky Country and over the past six seasons has molded herself into a very game fly angler. She can cast a 10wt with either hand and she has zero quit in her!
Twitch is getting pretty good at he vise now too! This was her first musky on one of her own ties...she's caught plenty on other people's patterns and ties...but getting one now on a pattern of her own design and tied with her own hands is certainly a milestone!
BTW...that same day I broke my PB on a fly! It was a tremendous feeling!! I don't get a chance to fish that often these days so I was pretty tickled to say the least. Me and Twitch were doing some run and gun stuff...Landcruising and hiking into some of my good spots.
I knew there was a favorable moonrise mid-day and we have just gotten our first Canadian cold front the previous two days. The big gals are beginning to stir now...
So I timed it so We'd be able to hike into a big rapids and a big fish beat at the key time of day. Normally it's a mile hike in but as we were lining up the rods and getting our packs set up by the gate the landowner drove up.
Hey Brad! How's it going? Want to drive down?
He had his brother up and had a few days off as they were both holding bear tags this year and were doing some yogi hunting. The brother had bagged a 325# bruin the previous evening so they were in fine spirits!
So we got to Landcruise on down to the river and I made PSue run down beside us. Man she loves to stretch it out and me and Twitch just laughed and laughed as we watched the pure dog joy taking place on our journey.
Having the rig down there with a full compliment of rods, lines and flies along with a cooler full of beer and ice was a real treat!
The water was running forcefully. I knew we were in for it! This is my eleventh season doing this gig now full time. I'll admit that I've turned a corner this year in my angling and guiding. A decade of sweating the small and large stuff forges the personal iron in ways that are pure and lasting.
I feel a kinship with the water and the creatures now that I had hoped to acquire. It's a very satisfying station to be in in Life Amigos.
Anyway, I approach the water now with a sense of calm and purpose that has given me a powerful Presence. And for those of you who understand what I'm talking about you know what this is all about. It's like having another set of gears to shift to in a race...
I think that developing to this sort of State of Grace is what Ultimately this angling game is truly about. Aside from the chest thumping and glory of making great things happen on the water. Yes this post is about reaching a Personal Best but it is also about bringing out ones Personal Best.
And Afterall...is that not what we are here on this Rock to do?
So I went to the water as I like to...in my wet wading shoes, no socks! A light pair of pants and a simple long sleeved quick dry shirt and my favorite old grubby F3T hat...truly looking mainly like the Fishbum I am:). No unnecessary gear...only a jaw spreaders and a pliers in my back pocket.
I chose a new favorite stick of mine - TFO has been developing some purpose built predator sticks that I've had the fortune of being able to prototype test. The one I call The Man Stick has become my personal favorite. I lined up a fresh new SA line for the job...and tied up a fresh new leader with a 50# tie able wire bite guard(yes Vito tell that fishy bastage brother of yours that I have humbled myself this season and wire up my offerings when I'm approaching the real Beasts)...and of course I had a fresh new fly tied...a big white and orange Bohen747!
It was made from a special bucktail that I selected last autumn as I was going through the 2500 or so Primo Tails that I acquired...you know being a fiber hoarding son of a bitch has certain advantages. I also had some beyond dank feathers that I had dyed up special last April while I was squatting in buddies vacant house down in Ashevegas. I remember thinking about what I was going to do with those feathers when they came out of the dye bath five months previous...
See the journey unfolding? It's all about The Trip ya know...
So time and space sort of converged for me Friday the 13th(a fishy day historically for me btw) Amigos.
Like the old bull who walks down the hill to fuck em all I sort of approached this arena the same. I asked Twitch if she had her camera as we left the Landcruiser. I also asked her if she had good knots!
As we stood on the knoll overlooking the rapid I was very pleased! The mighty river was singing to me! It spoke that age old music - They're Here!
I told Twitch to focus herself. My words after showing her the casting positions and prime lies and all that were - Lisa be ready. One of us will have the shot at the fish of a lifetime here now.
I gave her the money spot. She's a southpaw and the best casting position favors a lefty. I walked to the head of the run...just where the big boil of water comes into contact with structure. I love to work the angry water! If you study the old journals of the river guides from the Pioneer times back in the 1920's and 1930's they come to he same conclusions that I have - The biggest musky haunt the biggest eddies of the biggest rapids. They are creatures of turmoil and chaos;)
My third cast it all came together.
When things go down like this time compresses. I can see now removed a day that I was In The Zone. The sounds of the rushing water...the feel of the water on my feet...the crisp air and warm sun on my skin...the ultra blue sky and puffy white end of season UpperWisco clouds all were enhanced but all of that also faded into the background as my hunter focus took over my being.
I recall my mind reacting to the sight my eyes took in slowly...as it happens. My mind went - Wow what is that sturgeon doing rolling up behind my fly....?
The massive black backed musky was impossibly large and just how did such a creature make those quick and twisting moves so effortlessly in that cauldron of water and rock? How!?
Then in the same instant it came angrily from behind up and out of the water like a serpent...and leaping back down into the froth it took my fly. I hesitated a beat as I've trained myself to do this past decade. Then I stripset so hard i burned through calloused skin on my thumb and third finger on my rod hand into white flesh.
She was a Game creature indeed Sportsfans!
Everything held. I made the right moves and the articulated single hooked barbless fly came home in the perfect position in the scissors of her big jaw.
Man I tell ya...Fuck What Sport!
Later as Twitch and I cracked cold Lienies and toasted a truly remarkable fish and a truly remarkable day...we laughed at how quickly it all transpired! She got two nice snap shots of the fish of fishes as I briefly lifted her out of the eddy below the island where I eventually subdued her.
Then she coiled in my grip and twisted free. She had jumped five times during the battle. Twice pulling the entire 400grain sinking line out completely - about 50 feet of line...she came head high no shit! The fly line oscillating like a bass string being plucked by a prodigy player.
She was tired and I beat her but she was not spent even as I lifted her clear of the water for a vain hero portrait. I lost my grasp and as she splashed back the fly came free. In the water I watched her hesitate for a brief moment...fly two feet away...she was once again free...we eyed one another...and there was acknowledgement!
Poof! A massive tail kick and she disappeared back into the tannic realm from where I had lured her!
I was shaken! I was stirred!!
Fuck What Sport!
Yes, What a Life it is to be a purposefull Flybum;)
I gave Twitch that fly and am giving her the honor of revealing the picture of that fish when she is able.
Check her out:)
Anyway, we never measured that fish. I can say it was the heaviest musky by far of my career. It might have bested my longest. It was close. It was a fifty. Not as big as the fish Vito's brother has taken. That dude haunts me! I so admire what those fellows are accomplishing over there. And that great fish TX took down in NC too!
No need to measure. I've been in the record book. I still am and if someday someone knocks that fish out as I hope they do then I might feel the need to measure and witness one again.
But for me this journey...and this moment with a great fishing friend and my dog...on a remarkable UpperWisco fall day...well that music of the rapids singing to me and the entire thing are trophies to me that I'll take to my dying day!
I am happy to share this with you here on Teh Suck Amigos! Humbled actually...
Tip one back for me and a truly great fish!!
In the end of it all this is what I can tell you. I'm lucky. I'm blessed. For I am really just a jerk at one end of the line hoping for a jerk at the other. King of the Dipshits indeed.
But every now and then things come together...when you follow your Passion...don't let the trolls and ankle biters and naysayers get to you...walk tall...always choose the high road...be true to yourself! And you will discover proof in Living Right!
Cheers Big Ears!