The really memorable fish are rarely the biggest or the strongest, though thanks to some of my friends these attributes are forcing their way up my priority list. This film shows my favorite capture of the Memorial Weekend, where size of beast was just one of the parts.
The carp emerged from some nasty snags and overhanging branches and sat no more than 15 feet above me; a feeding fish. I'd been waiting for him, and made one leading cast perhaps 5 feet ahead, the stream carrying the fly down to him perfectly, asking little more than a slow pivot of his oblong frame for the deception to work. So far, we're text book (it happens twice a year if I'm lucky. And I do believe in luck. Other anglers credit themselves when things work, but the irony of this rather scientific achievement is that it forgoes the greater inspiration and plain, youthful romance in simple moon alignment.) Hooked, the fish would dictate the next play, making straight for the submerged brush from whence it had come. Maximum pressure on the #4 Hardy "Lightweight" was essential if I was to have this fish [watching the film again I see I mixed up the bully boy tactics with a little "soft shoe" up the sandbank!], and this helped change the fish's path sufficiently for the rest to go smoothly in shallow, snag-less water. Sighting this fish, stalking it, seeing the take, trying to play bully with a delicate trout rod, and all in perhaps a foot and a half of clear water, made for a very exciting capture. I'm glad Andrew was on hand to record it, too. -- JA