Highly infectious and extremely addictive. There is no known cure, once exposed to it will shape your life.
Even while writing this, the aftermath still rumbles through our veins. The only wish is to go back, do it again, regardless the tiredness and exhaustion we are left with.
An encounter with a creature that is simply raw power, in its absolute prime, driven with the mindset that there are no obstacles. These fish are determined to go on and will put your every skill to test.
Mastering the learning curve was quiet a challenge but accomplished rather quickly. Rob is the first one to have an audience with the true king of all rivers. Having met his distant cousins, the illusive lake trout, he knew he was in for a treat. A barrage of unstoppable runs laid ahead of him but skill and patients turned this fight in to a first victory.
We scouted out potential resting spots, deep pools and breaks in the fast current. Getting familiar with the hunting ground is vital. Knowing your way around treacherous terrain will give you the confidence of being able to chase after these behemoth when they take off.
Flexibility is key to success, the fish dictates the speed of the game. When a 30lb torpedo with a brain and a seemingly unlimited power source decides to go, it will, just because it can. You don’t tire these beasts out they take you out for a ride.
Once we draw first blood the thirst for it was unquenchable.
The day goes by drifting single roe eggs under a float with a tiny split shot just heavy enough to make it bounce naturally in the current. Learning to deal with the temper of a bull, these big fish set the true mark on how to combat any big prey.
Later in the afternoon Smooth hooks up with that giant shadow that was resting in a deep pool. His cast was placed text book, slowly floating down stream, one little burst and this King couldn’t resist, snap and set and fight. So far this was the biggest fish we have seen all day and it took several runs up and down the ladders to finally get this beast to surrender.
This is the proud smile of a skilled hunter that gave his very best and more to tackle and conquer this royal highness.
Exhausted but satisfied there is no time to celebrate as the next hookup is already in motion.
We are mostly tag teaming these beautiful creatures but sometimes you find your self alone and its just you and the fish. No assistance in landing or friendly coaching advise, this is where push comes to shove. Single handedly landing a fish like this is a challenge. We love challenges.
Time always goes by way to fast when you are having fun and way to soon its time to pack it in, John and I where playing the last cast game, over and over. The last chance saloon was about to close its doors as John hooks up once more.
Taking me on an epic run downstream, there is nothing you can do to stop it, hanging on is all there is left. The drag set as tight as possible, while still allowing some line to escape from the spool is the only way to put a little pressure on these fish.
A mad chase unravels as rocks and boulders fly by on the way down, one eye on the fish the other on the terrain, trying not to turn this in to a total disaster. A couple of long agonizing minutes later and she is all mine. The face says it all!
A trip of a life time, tired and exhausted, deeply satisfied we are on the retrieve back home. Laughing and already reminiscing, celebrating this wicked day. Having the chance to meet the king up close and personal was an incredible experience. It feels like once you successfully handled a fish of this magnitude there is no challenge left that can’t be tackled anymore.