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Best fishing moments

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Paul Arden
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Best fishing moments


Post by Paul Arden » Fri May 31, 2019 1:16 pm

Fly fishing for me is mostly made up of moments. Some of them are so powerful that they define us.

Obviously my first trout on a fly rod at the age of 10 is a big one, caught on a Whisky Fly, fishing with my grandfather. My first trout on a buzzer, six pounds, I still see the take now. One of my first trout in NZ, just a magic moment hiding behind a big rock, throwing upstream, seeing the fly drift down towards the fish (in my mind), striking and fish on. I remember that one a lot - particularly when in the dentist chair - it always takes me back to the river. There were many moments in New Zealand.

My biggest trout was 11.5lbs, from Varzina in Russia. 4 o'clock in the morning - and I fished for that fish; never had a 10lb brown and it just had to happen, and it did of course. Otherwise I wouldn't be talking about it :p My second Giant Gourami was an amazing moment. Not the first one; I caught that one in less than a week. But the second took another year! For a whole month afterwards I was on Cloud 9.

Sometimes I think it's not fish that we are fishing for, but moments that we can remember. When I think of these and other moments, I can feel and smell the air, remember even the smallest details, can visualise the moment of the eat precisely and in slow motion. When I recall these moments I'm transported back in time to relive them and they are as fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday.

What are your moments?

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Bernd Ziesche
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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Bernd Ziesche » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:55 pm
The first cast is always the best cast.

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Graeme H
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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Graeme H » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:55 am

I've got two from the same day in the same place last year in Exmouth, Western Australia.

The first came when we were on "spot lock" in a place were a few golden trevally were popping up, chasing the occasional baitfish. I was on the front of the boat and my two mates were at the back. I was mainly blind casting to my left but observing all around as I stripped line in. One of the guys is a casting student of mine so he was just learning the ropes of SW fly fishing.

As I stripped line, I heard a longtail tuna break the surface about 20 metres to the right of the boat, and my student saw it hit the bait there. With 12 or 15 metres of line out, I lifted, made one false cast and delivered a backhand cast onto the widening "dinner plate" circle of surface disturbance. It was a perfect cast delivered very quickly, and within a second, I was connected with a decent longy.

After a couple of searing runs, I got it close to the boat but the Taxman was lurking nearby. I dropped the drag off completely and let the fish have its head: tuna are way faster than sharks, and he easily outpaced it even after the fight had gone this far.

Next time I got it close to the boat, we were able to net it and take home some lovely sashimi. That cast, delivered to perfection in a heartbeat - with one of my students watching on in awe - will live with me for a very long time. :D

About 30 minutes later, in the same location, I was once again blind casting and tis time watched my fly get casually monstered on the surface by the biggest Giant Trevally I've ever seen in the flesh. This thing was HUGE! It took off to the north and I told the guys they need to get their lines in and start the motor to follow this fish. NOW!!!!!

For the next 10 minutes, I was in no position to control what this beast did. We were all just passengers on its journey. Eventually, it led us into shallow water, where the other two guys got to witness the impressive dimensions of the behemoth we were tied to. I got it alongside the boat, it made a dive, I got it back and it made another dive.

On the third approach, the bugger headed around the back of the boat, where a bit of rod gymnastics saw it clear the outboard. Once again it headed down, but this time, it found a reef to rub on and the 20lb tippet parted.

It didn't matter to me that the fish got off - I was going to let it off anyway. But the experience of seeing such a magnificent animal up close has made that the most memorable fish for me.

Can't wait to get back to Exmouth in October! :)


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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by flickingfeathers » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:55 am

I can't remember my first fly caught trout, but my first fish on a toby when i was about 8 still sticks out. My first mahi mahi-one of my favourite fish- is definitely up there for me, along with my first first mahi from shore.

The first carp I caught on fly is another of my best moments, I had been trying to figure them out for ages and had blanked for 11 weeks in a row before catching that one. I can still see it turning its head and sucking in the fly!

For me some of the best moments aren't caught fish, the snakehead follow I had last year with Paul-I'm sure he'll remember my reaction to it- was just amazing. Seeing 100lb tuna shooting clean out of the water as they crash through an anchovy ball is probably my favourite thing to see in fishing, and as it's becoming much rarer it's something I really appreciate when I see it.

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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Boisker » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:51 pm

My first ever fish, 5 yrs old, was a tiny little Roach on a typical small Lancashire dew pond... they used to be all over the place for cattle.
Early teens an amazing day walking the river Ribble free-lining various bait for Chub... caught an unbelievable amount, more than the previous 5 trips combined.
First trout on a fly... cheap rod, never fly fished before, headed up to Dartmoor and fished the Cherry Brook, a famous little trib of the West Dart... looking back an absolutely ludicrously challenging place to head out on your first attemp... I spent more time with my leader (and line at times :D ) in gorse bushes... but I caught 2 perfectly finned little Dartmoor trout :yeahhh: :yeahhh:
I knew immediately my gap of 20 yrs from all forms of fishing had just permanently terminated, and have been slightly p!ssed off ever since why I left it sooo long :whistle:
First fish in NZ... I’d been imagining it since I started fly fishing.
Loads and loads more :D

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Paul Arden
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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Paul Arden » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:58 am

First time I can remember falling in would be another good one - we were hunting sticklebacks with hand nets. I was one side of a bridge waiting for a stickleback to appear while my friend was crawling through the bridge enticing it to come my way so that I could net it. Unfortunately the fish came through like a rocket and before I knew it it was out of range, but caught up in the moment I decided to leap after it. Nothing changes!

I’m quite convinced that my love of fly fishing all started with trying to put fish in jam jars.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by John Waters » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:41 am

When my 10 year old son had a hook up with a small trout. It was memorable then and priceless now.


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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Zhongxiang » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:28 pm

When I first started fly fishing there weren't many people in China doing it. A lot of native local species hadn't been caught before on a fly as a beginner myself they became challenges. After countless attempts, blanks, conclusion, repeat I finally caught my targets, Chinese perch and Spinibarbus. it's interesting that all the details I didn't pay attention to just pop out vividly as fresh as just happened yesterday, not only can I smell the air but also can hear the sound of the environment not to mention how the fish was caught. For me the moment has one thing in common that it isn't come easy during the process my anticipation gradually build up, emotion gets stronger and stronger then finally it wouldn't happen without a bit of unexpected coincidence.
I think my next moment is either a 30kg GT when wading or a Snakehead that big enough to jump into the lake with Paul :pirate:

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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by nicholasfmoore » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:28 pm

Lovely stories everyone!

My very first trout (not fish) was when I was about 8 years old. I had no idea what I was doing :laugh: but I remember exactly where I was, and at what time of year (it was the October break). I went there with my parents on holiday.

Location? Wessex trout fishery situated in Tolpuddle in Dorset, England. I remember the exact lake, and where I was standing. For those of you that don't know, these lakes are absolutely crystal clear, and the opportunities for stalking fish are excellent. I don't know where the owner gets his fish from, but they have stunning markings. Very high contrast spots.

Anyway! There are 5 lakes at the fishery, Meadow Lake is the biggest at 2.5 acres, school lake , oxbow , the bowl and church pool. I cannot remember what this one was called, but it was to the right of the meadow lake as you drove in, it's the second closest to the country road.

My dad and I found an amazing bay on this lake, we crept towards the waters edge to see what treasures were swimming around. Dad is by far an amazing fish spotter, I am pretty crap at spotting fish if I'm honest (even now!). Every so often we saw a trout cruising around the bay feeding, then suddenly, an absolute torpedo came in. I was incredibly excited, I wanted to catch that fish, and dad wanted to see me catch it as well. I cast in front of the fish, it was a lot deeper than I expected because of the crystal clear water, and having never done it before I was confused. I could see the fish opening and closing it's mouth.

All of a sudden it disappeared. We decided to wait it out, it must have been about 20 minutes (it seemed like an eternity) and dad changed my fly for me, I didn't know what the hell it was. It was a red thing (I know now that it was a gold head marabou bloodworm). The weather suddenly changed, it was one of the worst showers I have ever experienced! Luckily a shed was near by on the big lake, so we took refuge in there. It didn't last long at all, it must have been about 10 minutes :laugh:

We went back to the lake armed with this new fly, we saw the fish cruising again and dad told me to try and remember it's feeding pattern route. I cast quite a bit in front of it and I saw a flash of white "strike strike strike!" I hear, I finally hooked the fish, it gave an intense battle, I fought coarse fish before so I sought of knew what to do, I finally got the fish under control and dad netted it for me.

It was a 7lb trout with beautiful markings, I have the photo somewhere. I don't remember any fish as clearly as my first one, That was really a special moment. You have to fish with your family in my opinion, it's a great activity for all.

All the best!
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

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Re: Best fishing moments


Post by Phil Blackmar » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:47 pm

When I value my fly fishing more than camaraderie and poling, I will often fish alone...........

On this day I was alone, drift fishing with a 7 weight in about 12 inches of water. I saw a fish in a sand hole facing away and made a very nice cast just past and slightly to the left. When the fish turned and ate, I thought to myself this fish is bigger than I thought. When it took off across the flat, I thought to myself this fish is a lot bigger than I thought.

When I got the fish to the boat, I realized I had forgot to bring a landing net. After several attempts at landing the fish and a few choice words, I managed to get it into the boat without breaking my rod. That, in and of itself, made it a memorable experience. That the red fish was 43 inches long and my biggest on fly to date, was gravy.

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