Sunday’s Classic / Been There, Felt That, and It Sucks

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You hook up with a trophy fish of a lifetime but your natural high is extinguished quickly as it schools you….

Charlie Murphy’s inner voice, “Why Lord, Why…?” Photo By: Louis Cahill

Most of us have been there before and if you haven’t it’s just a matter of time until it happens. One of the best feelings in the world comes right after you set the hook and realize you have a trophy fish on the end of your line. On the other hand, one of the worst feelings in the world is having a trophy fish on and losing it before you can land it. Sometimes it’s our fault while other times it’s simply bad luck, either way, it’s always heartbreaking and painful. Since we always seem to showcase our wins, I thought it was only fare to post one of our losses. God knows we all have plenty of them. I don’t care how great of a fly fisherman you are, no one lands every fish they hook up with. Today’s showcased loss has been provided by our good friend Charlie Murphy, who feels numb and lifeless as he recalls play by play what went wrong during the fight of a steelhead well over thirty inches. Poor guy ran out of real estate as the fish hit fifth gear moving into water too deep to follow and rounding the bend breaking him off. Pulling a river runs through it floating down the river isn’t a viable option with single digit temperatures outside, but we gave him shit for not doing it anyway. It was all in good fun, and he’s usually the guy who lands most of the fish anyways.

Keep it Reel,

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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12 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Been There, Felt That, and It Sucks

    • Trap,

      I been there plenty of times myself. I will never forget the first steelhead that completely schooled me in about 3 seconds. Man I wish I could have seen that fish at least before it broke me off. What a rush.


  1. I can remember my first big fish that got away. I was around 8 or 9 years old, fishing for bass with minnows off our dock on Lake Sinclair. A really nice Largemouth took my minnow, came up to the surface, jumping and head shaking. I can still rememeber how freaked out I was. My dad was coaching me as the fish was was tearing up my little zebco rod/reel combo. That bass finally got he best of me, breaking my line and taking off accross the cove. The funny part… when he broke me off, the bobber was still attached to the line. As it swam off, the bobber stayed up on the surface, resembling a famous scene from the movie Jaws. From then on, we remembered it as “the Jaws bass”. That was my first of countless heartbreaks to come. It’s a blast though, and always keeps me coming back for more.

  2. Mine happened this summer on the Naknek. I hooked into what was probably a 30+ inch rainbow. Immediately went into the backing. Fierce head shakes, she ran up river, my buddy tried motoring up to catch up but I was unable to keep enough tension on the line while reeling in the slack and motoring up river. It all lasted about 20-30 seconds. It was my fish of a lifetime. I feel Charlie’s pain.

    • Bill,

      Sounds like one hell of a Leopard Bow my man. I lost a giant “lifetime” rainbow on the Upper Nushagak River I’ll never forget. It had to push 30+ as well. Thanks for sharing.


  3. there is something about those big fish that get away without even seeing a single flash of color. I hope they continue to haunt me the rest of my life. Keeps me coming back wanting more.

  4. First time I hooked a truly big rainbow on the Salmon River it took a small wooly bugger in the water at the top of a long series of rapids. After the take and hook-set, it headed upstream. I felt pretty good about that since there was plenty of room for me to play it. A few jumps and head shakes later, and it got below me and hit the rapids.

    I tried to follow it downstream, but the there was a tree below me down in the water. As the reel screamed, I worked my way through the tree. I went into the water, and soaked my left arm, but I go through with the rod intact and the fish still on.

    The fish continued downstream where there was one fisherman working the water. I am running, tripping and flailing downstream trying to catch the fish before it reaches the lone fisherman. The fisherman, however, seems oblivious to my plight, or maybe he just does not care. Anyway, the fish got downstream of the fisherman, who served as a catch for my line, and the next thing I knew, I felt slack.

    Had lots of fun trying to land the beast, and while I did not get a photo, I did get a great story.

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