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Hatchet Jack

Give it to 'em gently

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PrairieDrifter's post about Carrie Stevens & her feathered streamers got me thinking about a fishing experience from long ago, back in the day when Jungle Cock nails were within my reach and Grey Ghosts were my favourite streamer fly.


I had been fishing for steelies on a well-known river for some days without any luck. Throwing spoons & even spawn sacks with a Shakespeare Ugly Stick 8 wt. 9' fly rod, Martin multiplier reel & Maxima mono just didn't charm the stubborn buggers. I was tired and worn out and in a fish-fueled funk. What in Dog's Creation did they want?


I chucked the 8 wt. and rigged up my old 6-er with SA Wet Cell 3 full sink and a #10 Grey Ghost & settled down to fish a pool known as the Box Car. I was tired of casting & flinging & half froze up so I said to hell with it all, let the streamer whirl about downstream in the current and depths. Just long-line the bastage and see what happens. For some time, I sat there on the bank, watching a few snowflakes drift down, & occasionally twitching the rod tip. Finally a solid, strong tug woke me up and it was fish on.


Long story short...a 24" Brown, fresh in from the Big Pond came into my net and then later, into a hot cast iron frying pan. Upon cleaning the fish, I discovered that the greedy Pig-'O-Fish had devoured an entire 12" milt sack that someone had flung into the river from a previous catch. That Brown looked 20 months pregnant and then some. Why he took my streamer, well who knows?


When I'm fishing now & my luck is grape-sour, I remind myself of that day, and to slow down. 'Tis a perpetual lesson, often forgotten yet happily re-learned.


Good fishing to all!

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