"It wasn't until the reel started spinning, the backing began to peak out from under the fly line, and I found myself giving chase over the slick river rock that I realized I had tied into a respectable fish."
Before I knew it, I was 100 yards downstream from where I had initially tied into the Yellowstone cutthroat. Hunched over the tail end of a plunge pool that took form along one of the rivers braids, it was possibly my last shot at netting the wild eyed cutthroat before the water picked up speed again and descended into a bend filled with debris.
My primal hoots were swallowed up by the current and washed away, never to be witnessed by a human ear.
No more than a few minutes prior I was considering packing up to check out some other pieces of water in the area. The current through this section of river was waist high, moving quite swift and difficult to wade at best. That was before I cast my fly to the head of a large seam. It was one of a few pieces of soft water I had come across, and if trout were to be found, it would be in here.
The take was not necessarily aggressive, and even when I felt the initial weight of the fish, I figured it was something small using the current to its advantage. It wasn’t until the reel started spinning, the backing began to peak out from underneath the fly line, and I found myself giving chase over the slick river rock that I realized I had tied into a respectable fish.
As I stumbled along I knew I had one chance at steering the lug toward a plunge pool where the fish might take cover in the depths instead of continuing downstream and as luck would have it, it did just that.
With flashbacks of fish that had managed to slip the hook at the last second running through my head, I was able to net the old brute after several failed attempts.
And with that, the day was complete and it wasn’t even over. I still had several hours of sunlight and many other fish that would come to hand. I had found a new piece of water to explore during future expeditions and a memory to last me through the Winter.