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> > What's your most disappointing catch?

Shawnny3January 6th, 2009, 2:32 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I was just telling Louis this story in a PM, and I thought it might make a good primer for some funny storytelling.

This is the story of the biggest fish I've ever caught in Spring Creek.

I was probing the bottom of a nice hole with an olive Curly Worm (a little fly I invented) and I hooked into a monster brown, so heavy that he just tooled around on the bottom for awhile before I ever saw him. You know the feeling, when your line just goes back and forth deliberately in the pool, and you're thinking to yourself, "He's so big he barely even notices me." Finally I got him up a little, and he showed his deep yellow belly, like all the big browns have. He was a good 22" and fat as could be. It was when he got within about a foot of the surface that cruel reality sunk in - it was a damned sucker. I could barely bring myself to touch his disgusting mouth to unhook my fly. Oh, the disappointment.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Al514January 6th, 2009, 2:46 pm
Central New York

Posts: 142
Suckers are also one of my most dissapointing catches. But, they usually provide some comedy for the same reasons in your story - "Woah, this is big one!", and then its...."Oh, its just a #$!@*$ sucker!!". When fishing with friends its always something we get a good laugh out of.

But by far, the worst, most dissapointing catch are those dammned Creek Chubs! I swear they will eat ANYTHING on the surface they can fit in their mouth and any sory of underwater offering. The small little Brook Trout streams in the ADK's are loaded with Creek Chubs, and you'll catch 5 Chubs to every Brookie. That nice pool of risers you see upstream - guaranteed to be chubs. You make that perfect cast in tight quarters, right behind that log, and BAM! A creek chub. Talk about dissapointing, but it makes everything worth while when a Brookie's turn to eat is finally up.
SlateDrake9January 6th, 2009, 4:07 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Scarlet Fever when I was a kid.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
CaseyPJanuary 6th, 2009, 4:37 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
...the outside edge of my ski on a nasty soft mogul on Friday. found out just how helpful the skiing public can be, got to sample the Ski Patrol's expertise and equipment...and the doctor says 6-8 weeks before the back will be strong enough to ski again.
but on the other hand, fishing should be possible...there are two sides to this Global Warming!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
LittleJJanuary 6th, 2009, 8:27 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251

The funny thing is when I saw the title of the post I immediatley thought of a funny story I had from spring creek a few weeks ago. When I read your story I saw that you beat me to it almost word for word. What are the chances yours came at the bend just downstream of the handicap platform.(formerly known as the pink trailer). If it is, I should have saved you the trouble, and gone with my initial thought, which was to punt the damn thing into a tree. As it stands I decided to let it disappoint another day, so my sincere appologys if it was your fish.
AftonAnglerJanuary 7th, 2009, 6:03 am
Brule, WI

Posts: 49
Most dissapointed catch = my first wife ...aka The Chronic Leech!

But there was a note of honey to it or lemonaid out of lemons if you will.

I ended up creating a very productive fly and found that the moniker fit it to a 'T' as well...

The original dressing is the best

Picking one out can do nice things

You can dress them with endless amounts of flair

Hook: Mustad 37160 (sizes #4-#16)
Thread: Red, Orange or Hot Pink
Weight: Lead wire .025-.030 seven to ten turns at apex of shank (opposite of hook point)
Tail: Wild Turkey Marabou about two to three times the length of hook – Natural gray is best but dyed colors can be substituted
Body: Natural Gray Muskrat – again natural gray is best but dyed colors can be substituted as with the tail
Rib: Medium Ultra Wire – copper, gold, red. orange
Back: Scud Back – orange, pink, red

If you want to help me pay off my student loans - Ha!
See you on the Water.

Brad Bohen

The Afton Angler
Shawnny3January 7th, 2009, 6:05 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Good stuff, Jeff - I knew when I posted that I wouldn't be the only one with a sucker story. But this was about a half-mile upstream of where you were. I've also seen huge suckers that I initially thought were browns in the water between those two spots. I have a long history of mistaking suckers and carp for big browns. I also once saw a 5-10 lbs goldfish in Spring Creek. Some nasty stuff in that stream. Nobody should fish there.

Brad, I was hoping that no one would mention a spouse. I suppose former spouses are fair game, though. My condolences. Nice flies, by the way. That first one looks a lot like the Bleeding Mouse fly I developed years ago when I lived in Carolina and had access only to bass ponds. The biggest bass I ever caught was on that fly.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
AftonAnglerJanuary 7th, 2009, 9:24 am
Brule, WI

Posts: 49

No condolences necessary. She moved on with all my loot and got remarried and now is a mother. I have forgiven her and have moved on and now am married to a gal that understands and loves me for who I am.

Life takes its twists and turns. An angler just takes it a day at a time. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they do not and sometimes it freezes up and you stay home and tie...

O.K. so I was being a bit of a funnyman. But I gave you all up an easy to tie pattern that will take any fish that swims. I have over 30 species of freshwater creatures on this and have heard from fellows who take numerous salty species on a version that is tied on a stainless hook.

Seriously, I can never remember catching a fish on a fly I was disappointed in. Sorry that you trout snobs look down on the 'lower' fish...I do not understand this emotion.

To me it is limiting. It blocks a full understanding of the natural order of things and is a bit racist :)

I have been surprised certainly. I can relate to thinking I have a big brown trout on only to come up with a quillback carpsucker...disappointed? No, instead of catching yet another salmo trutta I had added a new species to my lifelist and was ecstatic for the exotic tug.

Also in my out west days there was the 'lowly' whitefish. I never had a problem with 'whitey' a trash fish to some that got boot stomped and/or thrown upon the bank...

They are native, they take flies readily, they fight well and they are common enough to keep folks from crying if a person creels a couple and very tasty indeed!

Poor mans lobster or whitey chowder!!! Wish I had a batch going right now.

I have clients go pale after thinking they have finally hooked up with a muskie only to realize that they have a northern pike. I must remind them that in fact it is a great northern pike they have on and to never sweat the small stuff...

See you on the Water.

Brad Bohen

The Afton Angler
RleePJanuary 7th, 2009, 2:35 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Brad Sez:

>>Seriously, I can never remember catching a fish on a fly I was disappointed in.>>

I'll sign on for this. Hence, I do not have a "most disappointing".

I have a number of pretty damned disgusting though, the worst of which was probably the time I got about 20 feet of my WF7F wrapped around a pod of spawning Hellbenders in a riffle in French Creek in NW Pennsylvania while fishing for smallmouth. (As a side note, this was long ago and there are no more bass in French Creek. Additionally, the stream banks are festooned with abandoned un-tripped conibear beaver traps and all the streamside landowners along French Creek patrol against fisherman while heavily armed. Almost all of them also drink heavily, at least during the periods when they aren't working in the clandestine meth labs that line much of the stream. Needless to say, you don't want to bother fishing French Creek for smallies. It's just not worth your life..)

But I digress...

Hellbenders (actually a large salamander:
are the slimiest, most disgusting creature to touch that I've ever encountered. They're literally covered in something that is all but identical to snot. My line was wrapped around like 5 of them and it took nearly an hour to get it all back and then get all the goop off it. I've seen a lot of gross stuff in the outdoors and I like to think my stomach is pretty strong and my sensibilities at least grown up. But I'm here to tell you, I almost lost my cookies a couple times during this event. They're really gross.
PigDushJanuary 8th, 2009, 4:18 am

Posts: 6
Hi All,

My first post as a troutnut forum participant, but hopefully the first of many.

I am an Australian fisherman still developing an interest in fly fishing (in fact I am yet to start), though I thought I might share my most disappointing catch as Shawn failed to specify that the catch must be on fly ;)

The 26th of January in Australia is Australia Day, commemorated with a public holiday which happened to fall on a Monday in 2008. This provided a coworker and I an ample chance to have a bit of a camp-and-fish along with our girlfriends. We decided on a trip along a riverside four-wheel drive track an hour or two out of town and got packing.

Upon arrival the area was a little more popular than we were hoping, but with the help of the great hulking four-wheel drive that we'd acquired specifically for the trip we were able to find somewhere a little more secluded. After setting up camp we settled in for a long hard days beer and fishing.

I was aware that trout were present in the river we were camping along side - being specifically classified as a trout stream - but I was also aware that the Australian Golden Perch and mighty Murray Cod were around, along with the pestilent (in Australia) European Carp.

My girlfriend was first to hook up, using the biggest worms I had ever seen, she scored a roughly half kilo carp. Then it was on. Carp were coming in left, right, and centre. Everyone managed to hook a seemingly cloned half kilo fish. Except me.

Being illegal to return Carp to the water, we'd established quite a pile of little fish away from the camp before the sun started going down. Determined not to come up scoreless, I kept fishing away while the rest were getting ready for a barbeque dinner. It was dark before I hooked up, and from the bend in my rod it was a monster.

I knew that Brown Trout liked to patrol at night, and the fish certainly had enough go to distinguish it from everything else we'd be catching during the day. I grew excited at my first Brown Trout after a long hiatus from the hobby. My most admired of fish, a big Brown certainly would have made my day. The fish rolled on the surface, once, then twice. In the dark it showed itself and my heart jumped. My eyes showed me a Murray Cod, a most prestigious fish on the chart of Australian natives. It rolled again and I was convinced. I would have put money on the fact it was a Cod.

After a few minutes of play the fish tired, and we were able to land it. It came reluctantly toward the landing net and half-heartedly tried to avoid the landing net. Then it was the moment of truth.

Cyprinus carpio.

Another stinking Carp.

While I can't say that it was a completely disappointing catch - it was a good 4 kilo heavier than the previous catch of the day, and it did put up a stronger fight than I would have otherwise expected. I wasn't entirely satisfied however. It had fooled me, feigning a Cod in the darkness.

The Carp did instill a little something extra in me however. It put up a noble fight and earned some respect for a fish I had been taught was an insidious pest, and also rekindled my love of fishing.

It still wasn't a Brown/Cod though.

Shawnny3January 8th, 2009, 1:37 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice first post, Joel. You only get one first post, and I'm honored you graced my thread with it. Welcome to the forum.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Aaron7_8January 8th, 2009, 1:42 pm
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
My most disappointhing catch is any submerged branch that happens to be mistaken as a fish and steals my fly. I agree with others that as long as they are pulling it isn't a disappointment at all.
McjamesJanuary 8th, 2009, 2:57 pm
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
the one and only time I made it out to Montana... it was March and the main purpose of the trip was skiing, but I set aside one day to fish the Gallatin River. Of course I woke up and it was snowing. Driving along the river to find a fly shop where I could buy a license, I noticed "lily pads" of ice floating down... I found a shop and went in, the proprietor was a real Montana Mountain Man... big guy, beard, looked like Paul Bunyan. I said "is it even worth getting out on the water in these conditions?" and he responded "that depends on how tough you think you are... the fish ain't goin' anywhere." So I thought, hell this is my only chance, I gotta give it a shot... I bought the license and as I was walking out the guy must have felt a little sorry for the pathetic, skinny Easterner heading out into the cruel Montana winter... he said "come on in and rig up in here if you want".

When I got out on the water it was snowing thick and the wind was howling, practically a blizzard. Almost impossible to cast with the wind gusting unpredictably. Every third or fourth cast I had to knock the ice out of my guides. My hands were freezing, and I had to walk out of the water every half hour or so to warm up my feet. I walked up around a bend where there was a little protection from the wind and could cast without a heap of flyline and leader blowing back at me in a heap. I was fishing a stonefly nymph deep, and after my third or fourth cast I felt a bump... fish on! my first Montana trout!!... fish off... ugh! But at least now I wasn't feeling the cold... two casts later, again the rod bent... that glorious weight! and again it was gone!! Newman! This happened one more time before I checked the point on my hook... sharp as a marble! What a jackass I am... almost as pathetic as losing a fish from your knot coming untied...I replaced the fly and got back to work... wham! I set the hook like Quint in Jaws... the biggest one yet! when it came up it looked to be a good 18-20 inches! I worked it carefully into the shallows so I could snap a photo... I could see the picture already, hanging behind the bar in the basement... my first Montana... whitefish!!!!!!!

I am haunted by waters
Shawnny3January 9th, 2009, 4:10 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
OK, here's another for your amusement:

I had gone up to Salmon River, a good 3+ hour drive, to fish the salmon run. I was a flyfishing neophyte at the time and had not a clue as to what I was doing, but I tied up some egg-sack flies (I was not above using them at the time, but utter failure with them in the ensuing years has given me a haughty disdain for them) and resolved to catch an Atlantic Salmon. The scene was one I'll never forget and wish I could, fishermen with spinning rods standing elbow-to-elbow, exhibiting just the sort of unseemly behavior stereotypical of bait-slingers, lure-chuckers, and snaggers. I found myself a little spot and started casting my fiberglass 7-wt, a true piece of crap but my first rod and one given to me by my grandfather, so in spite of its flaws I'm still fond of it. The reel was similar in quality and experience, the drag completely gone from a blend of overuse and inferior materials. None of this deterred me. I was going to catch a salmon.

So there I stood, the only flyfisherman in the throng, casting unweighted egg sacks into a run that was maybe 8 feet deep, knowing nothing of how to get to where the fish were or maintain control of my wayward line. Over and over I cast, as the spinner fishermen lost and caught fish after fish, huge fish, bigger than any I'd seen before on a fishing line, fish that were snapping 30-lbs test with one majestic leap and disdainful turn of the head. Then it happened: As I was delivering yet another fruitless cast, a huge salmon leapt 4 feet out of the water and hurdled my airborne flyline as effortlessly as if we'd choreographed the feat. My heart leapt as well, then fell with the fish. So now the fish were publicly mocking my efforts. I gritted my teeth and resumed my self-flagellation.

For hours. Standing defiantly in the same spot. Beating the same water in the same way time after time, with no reasonable prospect of catching a fish and no way of knowing it. But finally, in spite of everything reasonable, at the tail end of one of my drifts, as my uncontrolled line bellied and my "fly" dragged through the shallowest water, I felt a sudden jerk in the other direction. There was more give than I was expecting as I set the hook with all my might, and the salmon came in a little easier than the others’. A few short strips of line later, and I had succeeded in landing the smallest Atlantic Salmon on the face of planet Earth, no longer than 6 inches head to tip. I got him off the line as discreetly as I could, but disguising my catch from all the spin-fishermen did nothing to dull the sting of the shame I felt.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
SandflyJanuary 12th, 2009, 11:37 am
tioga co. pa.

Posts: 33
My first and second wifes....
Very Dissapointing...
shop owner
N.J.B.B.A. #2215
Tiadaughton T.U. 688
I didn't Escape------They gave me a day pass !
TroutnutJanuary 13th, 2009, 12:24 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
My most disappointing catches are the bulldogging 18-inch browns that turn out, after the first 15 seconds, to be 12-inchers hooked in the tail.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfJanuary 14th, 2009, 7:05 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Amen to that, Jason.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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