Page 11 - The Color of Trout Waters

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Painter of Montana
As I retrieved my line, I glanced again at the
deeper waters.
I moved as lightly and as quietly as I could in
my waders, and I crept to a position where I could
simply drop my fly into the water and let it drift in the
current. As I stripped line from my reel the floating fly
drifted further and further out into the pool. Slowly,
then more rapidly as the current became stronger and
more powerful. The fly disappeared quickly under the
surface, drawn by a strong down-draft in the current.
The rush of water created a definite pull on my line.
Suddenly, I felt a distinctly different tug. It was
more than a tug. It was a hungry and hard grab. The
line straightened. The reel sang as more line stripped
off. I lifted the rod and sharply set the hook. The line
began to be drawn deeper into the pool by the pull
of the fish seeking deeper, safer water. When I set
the hook I knew this was a big one, bigger than any
I had struggled with all day. The fish began to move
laterally along the line of the first log. I realized that he
was headed deeper, down under that log. I needed to
turn the fish back, away from the the log towards the
middle of the pool. I pulled back steadily on my rod.
The fish initially relented. Then it tried to dive back
again, and I applied steady pressure holding my rod tip
high. I knew I must not let it get to that tangle of logs.
As the trout turned back towards the center
of the pool away from the fallen tree dam I retrieved
more line. Again I tightened the line and the trout
exploded from the surface of the water, flashing bright
against the darkening sky and tree shadows. It fell
back in the pool. And it was gone.
I froze. I stood there but didn’t move.