Trout Tantrums - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 11-23-2003, 01:35 AM
blawless blawless is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Olympic Penninsula, WA.
Posts: 43
Trout Tantrums

I have been wanting to write about this incident for some time now and I just
couldnít seem to get around to it. Itís about childish behavior immediately upon
losing a fish. The story in question involved one of the most ferocious fish I have
ever had the pleasure to know.
It was not my fish; it belonged to a buddy who was fishing about 20 feet
downstream from me on the Russian River, ca. 1964. We could smell fish in the
river at this famous hole from top to bottom. So did everybody else.
But we muscled our way into a spot that was actually above the hole where the river
made an inside turn, nice and deep but with fairly fast current. Using spin-n-glows
and standard gear stuff (I had a beautiful 9ft. Fennwick and Phleuger Supreme Reel
that would cast a million miles; he had the same except for the reel, an Abu Garcia),
we were plugging this turn after fishing in the frog water for hours with our fly
Suddenly, right in my face, this 12 pound buck (I can say with 100% certainty that
it was a chrome bright buck because it was so close I could practically touch him)
jumps up about four feet high and snaps the line with a big ZAP!!! I turned to see
my friend almost in tears because he was long over due and he wanted that fish to
eat, to show off, to be a hero with--well you know what I mean. So he reels in the
broken line and marches to the car which was some distance away at a very fast
walk. He squeals out of the parking area on the bar and thatís it. Iím without a ride
if heís headed home. Four hours later, heís back and wants to go home.
I donít say much, sort of lying low, when he says,ĒYou know Bob, that fish was
bigger than me. I knew when the iinstant he hit that I would never be able to land
him. And so I must of frozen my thumb on the spool after the strike which nearly
ripped the rod out of my hands. I never gave him an inch of line... I drove him
straight into the air...there was no where else for him to go.Ē
I tried to soothe him and say that **** happens and we all make mistakes and blah,
blah, blah. He said again, ďThat fish was bigger than me.Ē He apologized for
going to town for so long but that he needed time to be alone, time to cry his heart
out. He didnít actually mention the tears but Iím pretty sure they flowed like the
Missouri. It must have been a terrible tantrum.
I use to thrash the water with my rod when a fish threw the hook or broke my line.
But I never broke a rod over my knee although Iíve heard rumours of it being done.
Anybody ever pull a tantrum when they were younger? Or even a few days ago?
Come on, these things are fun to laugh about now. Give us all a chuckle or two.
Bob, the To Me Fishing Is All About Fun and Laughs
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Old 11-23-2003, 07:50 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
Amusing anecdote! :hehe:

I will throw a little mock tantrum once in a while but it's all in jest. I'll always be excited by the event, and it only makes me fish harder. But to be truthful one can't help but feel a little dearly-departed when the rod goes from haulin' the motherlode to limp noodle, the line from zinging twanging tight to flacid twine all in the blink of an eye. It's about the sudden loss of a much anticipated reward, hundreds perhaps thousands of casts invested into a playing table with odds that make craps look good. And the jackpot... oh what a magnificent fish. All I wanted was a good look.

Or maybe I should accept that the whole interlude is tenuous at best, the connection having never been more permanent than a cell phone call in the Ted Williams Tunnel. The adversary having a brain, motor skills in a current that would knock a moose downriver, and an instinct to survive that had driven it to travel as far as 7000 miles on it's life-long oddysey to the Aleutians. Perhaps we never had much of a chance in the first place.

What I do know is that in my case, the primal scream echoing through the mountain valley is a sign of my commitment, my passion, my dedication and my love for steelheading. Sounds good, eh?
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Old 11-23-2003, 03:56 PM
Brandon S Brandon S is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: PNW
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Steelhead have that effect, the ability to bring a strong emotionaly stable man to his knees............ It hurts just thinking about it
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Old 11-23-2003, 07:00 PM
t_richerzhagen t_richerzhagen is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Deschutes, Ronde, Snake, Walla Walla
Posts: 720
Not just trout and steelhead

I was salmon fishing with a friend on his boat when he blew up, threw a coupld of outfits about 25 yards off the boat into the ocean and we went home. Strange behavior does occur.
Speyclave Contributor

Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes. Joann C. Gutin
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Old 11-23-2003, 07:44 PM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: North West
Posts: 884
I wouldn't call it a "Tantrum"...

The first week of August in 1960 myself and several other kids were with a couple of sorta- kinda "Uncles" on a hike into the Olympic National Park. I was an ardent angler and fished at every oppurtunity so I had a fair amount of fishing expierence under my belt ( not actually sure that I had a belt back then). You get the point.
We were camped on the Elwha River at Elk Horn Medows and staying in the "Shelter" built by the CCC during the Great Depression, life was sunshine and trout from Dawn till dark each day.
On this one particular day my friend Carl and I wandered down to the Camp Pool after dinner. We were both fishing with Mitchel 300 spinning reels and 6.5' rods there was no fly line in use this night.
I had a Colorado Spinner #2 tied on to my line and I cast it across the fast water where a Huge Rock and several large Old Growth Firs made a "Plunge Pool" out of the entire river. On the far side of the pool there was a slick formed by a slow moving eddy, my spinner landed cupped side down and skipped twice in that little spot. It may have skipped a third time just like a flat stone except it was inhaled by the largest trout I had ever seen or hooked. The fish was certainly more than two feet long and weighed in excess of 5# It came out of the water as it took the skipping spinner and jumped its way down through a white water rapid that was full of huge boulders (well over a dozen clear jumps). I had the presence of mind to run down the bank following the fish but when I got to the bottom of the rapids I could go no further but the fish kept up its tail walking and jumping. As Carl and I were hollering about how incredible the fish was several of our campmates came to the high bank to watch the show. Thats about when the fish made one last jump and the spinner came flying out of its face and gave me that hollow feeling of loss like I had never in my tweleve years before expierenced.
I was crushed and tried as hard as I could to be tough I failed and as I write this I am certain that I must have cried for at least a good half hour. Confession is good for the soul.
I am certain that fish haunts me to this day I still have not hooked a fish of that size above Lake Mills since that day but I can see the whole episode in technicolor in my minds eye any time I want to.
Hey Bob thanks for making me think of it again!
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Old 11-24-2003, 02:07 AM
blawless blawless is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Olympic Penninsula, WA.
Posts: 43

Maybe you were a man even then and I think men only cry when they are totally frustrated and there is nothing they can do about a situation. Death of loved ones comes to mind;men cry then. And yes, of course, the lost of a big trout of that size has got to bring tears.
Wonder what happened to your adversary? He probably died of old age and sank to the bottom. Pity all this.
Bob, the I'd rather have hooked and broken off than to have never have hooked at all.:hehe:
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