On the Fly column: The one that got away (or not) | PostIndependent.com

On the Fly column: The one that got away (or not)

A solitary angler fishes on the upper Crystal River near Redstone.
Ken Proper

Every once in a while we get lucky out there. Especially when fishing alone. There’s a few fish I’m sure most of you have caught over your lifetimes that will stick with you forever, mentally. Inevitably this happens when there is no one to document the occasion, so mental pictures usually have to suffice. Personally, these moments are what I live for.

This can also be said about the fish you don’t (or can’t) land. When a fish kicks your ass, you take away the lessons it provided. Or at least you should. You know after one of these heart breakers that you can’t let a fish wrap your leader around a rock. Or that you need to move with a big fish versus stand your ground. And the list goes on.

When we all started fly fishing, most of us took a photo of every single fish we caught, which is understandable. We were excited. For most, this novelty wears thin after a few years, and we realize that we aren’t doing that trout any favors by keeping it out of the water long enough to get the right photo. But some fish are special, and once you learn to be quick and surgical, getting a quick quality snap gets easier.

I would argue the fish we don’t get a chance to document can stay in our memories even longer than the ones we have in a frame on the wall. They also tend to grow an inch every year as we re-tell the story. Fish like these keep us coming back for more, and we tend to catch them when there is no one around to witness our unmatched fishing prowess. I hope you meet one of these fish this fall, that it is an epic battle, and that the only picture you have is the one burned in your brain. We will all hopefully, wistfully, be thinking of these fish when we’re old and gray.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.

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