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More than Fish Porn

09/01/14 at 05:24 PM by Vince Puzick

I have a love-hate relationship with taking fish pics.  Sure, I love seeing the photos others take, and I like to capture an image of a nice catch as much as anybody.  And I have some great pictures of Jannetta with some of the fish she has caught.  But last week in Elevenmile Canyon, I had a different motivation when I took a picture of a fish.

 

Before I even netted the nice Cuttbow, before I even knew it was a Cuttbow, I knew I wanted to get a picture of him.  I could tell he was a nice fish just a few seconds after he took the Trico I had trailing behind the Amy’s Ant.  He made his first run downstream and the line whistled from my reel.  I turned him and could feel his weight.  He ran again.  I turned him again.  A nice fish.

 

But it wasn’t his apparent size that was the motivation for the picture.  It may sound corny, but I wanted to preserve the entire event.  

 

I didn’t see the fish before I cast, but I knew there had to be one suspending in the seam behind the submerged rock.  The seam, that is, on the far-side of the rock.  The side away from me.  I knew I would need a good cast to place the Amy’s Ant just next to the rock, mend the line, and get a natural drift for both of the flies.  I’d have to keep the fly line off the seam and faster water near me, on this side of the rock.  

 

cuttbowAfter I let the cast go, I watched the fly land at the seam just as I mended the line.  Both flies began their drift.  About two feet into the drift, the Amy’s Ant twitched.  I set the hook.  The Cuttbow had taken the Trico.  He went deeper and then headed downstream.  I had that rush you get when you feel the tug — the tug is the drug, they say.  The fight was on.

 

As I was playing the fish, I kept thinking “this is a nice fish” and he was.  He was no hawg.  Other folks have posted pictures of way bigger fish.  When I scooped him in the net, he stretched out a good portion of the basket.  

 

But when I see the picture of him in my net, it’s not about the size of the fish.  That picture is only part of the image I hold in my mind.  I like the picture a lot.  When I look at it, I see this: Reading the water.  The perfect drift at that moment. The subtle movement of the Amy’s Ant.  The set of the hook. 

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