The magnificent seven!

Okay so this one’s a  little  self-gratifying. In an attempt to preserve some of the season’s highlights for posterity, I’ve decided to do a little summary of the seven most memorable fish I’ve caught this season. Why seven? No, it’s not the total number of fish caught all season, not too far off though! It just allowed for a catchy title. The order was not necessarily determined by size, although that usually helped. Without further ado….

 

7. Beautifully coloured “eleventh-hour” fish

This guy was a real sweet note to end a trip on. After losing some seriously good fish I finally got a couple on the board. And then on the way back out of the valley, caught this beautifully coloured fish. Definitely felt like I earned this one!

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6. Mutant from the deep

At the time, this guy was another PB. Walking into an obvious storm, tired, and nearing the end of a tough fishless day, I prised this fellow from the  depths of his aquatic abode. He’s the first fish I’ve caught that possessed one of those Franksteinian “shoulder” things.

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5. Long walk for a fish!

Nearing the end of a six day trip, with 50-odd kilometres racked up, and only one miserable fish on the board, I hooked into this guy. Beautifully conditioned fish, with a lovely clean appearance. Perhaps the best looking fish of the season. He sure made the remaining few kilometres back to the car a lot more enjoyable!

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4. My first trophy

Not the most memorable battle of the season, but the moment it rose to the surface and I copped my first glance at it’s hefty flank will not soon fade from my mind. A beast he was, and a failed netting attempt spurred me into lunging at him in order to ensure procuring him. Purists, have your cringe.

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3. Rod break, take two

Having broken a rod mid-strike and subsequently losing this fish, it made for sweet revenge to go back the next day and bag him on the exact same pattern—early season perks! An epic duel was required to bag this guy, as he possessed the endurance of a Kenyan track team, the power of a 100m sprinter. The battle raged for hours—well a good twenty minutes—with offensives, and counteroffensives being made, and even the occasional attempted flanking—audacious stuff! And all of this played out through a 350m stretch of very awkward pocket water.

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2. Emerging after the storm. A fish plucked from possibly the last pool, at the tip-top of the valley

After sitting out a snow-storm at the head of the valley for two entire days, the sun emerged, and a glorious fishing session was had. Only a solitary pool was located and a solitary fish caught, but it was a magical, unforgettable one.

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1. The Juggernaut—victim to my last cast of the season

Yeah fairly predictable… the biggest fish makes the top of the list. But honestly, it was the exceptional circumstances which sealed it pole position. Caught late on the fourth day of a four day trip—the first three of which I was skunked/blanked on! It also happened to be the last trip of the season, which made it all the more awesome. After enduring four of the most electric runs from a fish I’ve ever seen, he finally beached himself, making for an easy netting and an ecstatic angler!

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Well that wraps up the seven most memorable fish of the season. It’s been interesting to observe the variance in colours these fish adorn, as I’ve fished a much wider variety of rivers this season than I normally would. And considering all of these fish trumped my former long-standing PB of the previous seven or eight years I’ve been fly fishing, it’s been my best season to date. I can only hope the next isn’t too much of a step down from this one.

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