It started out like any other September day in Montana. Fishing had been absolutely lights-out that week as it tends to be around here this time of year. The Browns were starting to push up in the river systems and were eating anything and everything, but I was still waiting for “the one”.
I decided to do a little bit of mousing on some new water that evening that just seemed too fishy to pass up. Hiking in a little ways I spooked a few fish on the way up… I was walking up the river near the bank checking directly ahead of me and also scanning the opposite undercut bank. And that’s where I saw him. He must have thought he was still an 18″ midge sipping brown because although his head was buried under the bank, his entire pumpkin colored paddle was visible from across the river. This was a big fish!
I had a mouse fly on my rod for that night but the sun was just going down and perhaps rather out of laziness than skill I left the mouse on. I Stalked up the river of him little ways so once the mouse landed I could start stripping it upstream, putting awake in front of him. I made my cast, slapping the mouse pattern hard on the water. It got his attention immediately and the next thing I knew this giant jaw engulfed my fly before I could even give it a twitch. A decent battle, a shaky-handed solo net job, and a few photos later, this brute was back to the undercut bank, only this time, not even a fin was visible.
Make sure to check out Brier Kelly on Instagram @brier_kelly – He is one fishy dude!