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Tailwalk

08/28/12 at 05:52 AM by Vince Puzick

"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.

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