Every fisherman has a story. Or lots of stories about the big one that got away.
Last week a friends brother Bob was in the Bitterroot Valley visiting. Bob had never caught a fish on a flyrod and my friend John asked if I could take them for a float.
Over the winter John and I built a wood drift boat. Or I should say almost finished a wood drift boat from scratch. I still haven’t got around to applying the final coat of spar varnish and one other minor detail… I never put the rock guards on the side of the boat above the fiberglassed chine line.
The rock guards prevent holes from being punctured through the side of the boat if you get sideways.
And so there we were… Bob hooked a big trout and I reached for my anchor rope. I haven’t finished attaching a clam cleat on the boat either…so I had a couple half hitches holding the anchor rope tight against the gunwales instead.
It took a few seconds of fumbling to realize I didn’t have enough time to untie the knot, drop the anchor and get the net before the boat pushed up against a log jam. The big trout got under the boat in the current and pop!
The fish was off. We were stuck. And somewhere in the process of getting unstuck a stob ripped through the side if my boat – right where the rock guard should have been…
We’ve all got a story about the big one that got away. But for Bob, the big one is the first and last and only trout he ever hooked. And it comes with a story about a brand new boat with a hole in it. Oh, and a snake, the story comes with a snake too. More on that later…
No biggie, we leaned to the right to prevent the flow of water from entering my boat and Bob kept fishing. He even managed to land a whitefish before we got to our take out.
Just another day in pardadise although I have some patchwork to do before my next trip.