I jetted out this morning to explore new lands..... I ended up at the east fork of the little bear river. The section that I fished is a tailwater to Porcupine Reservoir and WOW was it ever a sweet spot! The little reservoir is a sight to see and is chuck full of Kokanee salmon. The run is just beginning so the inlet is closed until the end of September. I parked the truck at 6:30 am just a few hundred yards below the dam and started getting ready. The water looked good and I had high hopes for the morning fish. My pole was already set up with a nymphing rig so I decided to throw it for a while. Nothing happened for a couple minutes, but then I hooked up on a nice little bow! Next cast I hooked a nicer brown and lost him trying to rush him. After moving about 100 yards upriver, I saw a couple fish rise. I decided to switch to a hopper dropper. I tied on an olive rainy's hopper with a rainbow warrior dropper. I casted against the bank about 10 yards straight upriver into a slight pool. I watched the hopper float slowly back towards me. I was "feelin the money" and I stripped the slack slowly with anticipation. The hopper suddenly went under and I lifted the rod just as a really nice bow errupted out of the pool and bolted into the riffle. He ran downstream about 25 yards and set on the bottom. After a couple minutes, he tired and I had him in my hands. He was CHUNKY! I love fat bows. He had a sweet pink-band and really sweet spots. I fished the rest of the way up to the spillway without so much as a nibble. I decided to go back downstream, re-rig with a nymphing rig, and fish some of the lower stuff. ( I hadn't realized I was so close to the outlet when I started the morning)
While I was walking down the banks of the river I was noticing some of the nicer holes that I would fish on the way back up. Just then I spooked a little 7-8inch fish out of a hole. He swam slowly downstream......then............out of nowhere came a MONSTER brown that proceeded to MUNCH THE EIGHT INCHER! He had the helpless trout in his mouth crossways and was headshaking it like crazy! I think my jaw hit ground and my eyes popped out of my head! Just then the big boy noticed the bystander, let go of his meal, and bolted into a large tree covered hole. DANG!......... That would be my last hole to fish on my way back up to the truck. I backed up and looped down a 150 yards or so. I spotted a nice bow facing downstream on a back eddy. I reached out my 9 footer and dropped a lightning bug right infront of his nose. He casually swam up to it and ate it! I set the hook and quickly stripped him in. He was no more than 12". My next cast into a spillway produced a nice little brown. I moved up fishing some other nice holes and caught a couple more bows, one that was quite nice.
Finally, I reached the "tree hole". I snuck up to the side of the hole and casted my nymph rig upstream. I then allowed the whole rig, indicator and all, to flow under the branches of the overhanging tree. The indicator stopped.............and.........SNAG! DANG! Just then, the monster brown exploded out of the water, up into the entanglement of branches! It wasn't a snag! The fish was ON!!!!! I held on tight and grimmaced as the fish jumped three more times, each of which, tangled up my fly line more and more in the branches! I decided to feed slack and try to spook the fish out of the back of the hole. My plan worked and the fish moved to the tail-out of the hole. My fly line was still WAY tangled in the tree so I set my pole down and grabbed the line coming out of the tree at the tail end of the hole. The fish was basically beaching himself in the 5-6inch deep water infront of me. I scrambled down the line and tried to tail the fish. He wouldn't allow it and just as I had a hand on him.....he broke my line! Time stood still as I struggled mentally.... I instinctively dove on the fish, soaking my whole upper body in the icy cold tailwater. The fish struggled to escape! I held on tight, but just as I thought I had him............!!!......... he slipped out of my hands and raced back upstream into the darkness of the hole and out of my life forever. There I sat in the freezing stream, water dripping and running off my face and sunglasses.................. completely awestruck that this had all just happened. The fish was probably one of, if not my best brownie of all time. He won. I lost. I sat thinking to myself,....................why in the world did I forget my stinkin' net?!!!!!