I was out fishing with a group of friends. The majority were fly fisherman but a couple non-anglers tagged along for the mountain experience. We traveled less than 3 hours from Denver to a favorite section of river. Around 11:00 am I saw a fish that made my heart stop. Shocked, I called my friends over to make sure I wasn’t witnessing a mirage. My hands instantly began to shake as something in the back of my mind knew I was about to cast at the trout of my life. On my third cast I saw the fish slightly move to its side to eat something. Instinctively I set and the water erupted…
This fish would not have been landed without help from my good buddy Chris Smith. As the beast tired out, we contemplated how to even fit it into the net. Chris got his head in the bag as he used his free arm to try and support it. I thought the battle was over as I saw the mother of all trout, half in a net lifted a foot out of the water. As I stepped over to help control it, the net broke and the fish disappeared. My heart sank. I cannot even begin to tell you how I felt because it is a feeling I have never felt before. I went from having the fish of my life in the net, to it making its escape. This fish of indescribable proportions was going to get away and no one would believe me—simply another fish tale. As the net broke, Chris’s hand instinctively shot down, saving the day as he grabbed the fish by its tail.
In awe, we admired the fish while making sure to leave it in the water. We all knew what we were looking at and treated the dinosaur of a fish with the respect it deserves. Our buddy Marshall Miller had joined us on our weekend adventure and fortunately for us, Marshal doubles as an incredible photographer. He snapped some quick pictures before the fish was safely released to set a good example for all of his friends.
The rest of the day fished awesome. Bugs were out and trout aggressively fed. I didn’t fish much after that though—a couple more casts as the day passed but mostly sat on the bank smiling over the one that didn’t get away. Confused as to what had happened but truly humbled that the fish gods chose to bless me with that magnificent creature.