"The worst part of losing good fish is that you cannot release them. They tailwalk across the back of your mind for days." -- Christopher Camuto, A Fly Fisherman's Blue Ridge.
I've been thinking about a fish from Sunday. He hit the natural colored Sculpzilla hard and just at the very beginning of the drift. He surfaced, but did not break the water. I saw the flash and twist of his body just beneath the surface of the water. Then the line went slack. As I reeled in, I could feel the lightness of the line, the weightless slack. Sure enough, he had snapped the tippet with the powerful thrash of his body. I picture him, as Hemingway writes in "Big Two-Hearted River" when Nick Adams lost his trout: "He'd bet the trout was angry. Anything that size would be angry. That was a trout. He had been solidly hooked. Solid as a rock. He felt like a rock, too, before he started off. By God, he was a big one."
So, today, Tuesday morning, I think of that fish along the rock wall just below the tunnels in Elevenmile Canyon. I still see him rise just after striking. I feel his weight in the phantom rod in my hands. He tailwalks in the back of my mind.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside