April 4th 2016
- I had it in my mind all week that I would be heading out to the Swift in Ware Massachusetts. I just got done getting skunked in northern Massachusetts with my friend on his last day living with me. Fishing can be the only way to deal sometimes with the hard news I deal with. I spent a day organizing my box and checking my gear. The rod I have been using the past year was in the shop and I was uncomfortable with my selections I had made. It already felt like I was off to a bad start. I rested and the morning of I woke to a snow storm that had came out of nowhere, I was frustrated and went back to sleep. I tossed and turned my mind was telling me to go anyways. Forecast said 3-6 inches which was an understatement to what actually had happened. The drive took me 3 hours. An hour alone to get out of Boston. I spent my time in the car upset with my leaving to fish and thought about all of life’s stresses I should be taking care of. I’m fortunate enough to have a strong women who supports me in my adventures, so when she understands it makes these days easier. When I pulled up on the thru way toll, a car actually crashed into the toll teller building. Making my nerves sky rocket. I couldn’t believe how close he came to hitting me after that trek, and how dangerous that trek was. I spent the next few minutes gathering my thoughts and became determined to fish this river. Loaded up and dressed for the weather I made the hike into the swift. I checked my usual spots and saw nothing. The fear of not seeing even a fish washed over me with all I dealt with to be there. I came up on the famous Y-pool. The beloved spot of fisherman who have figured out the patterns to grab fish almost every cast. Typically, I hate this spot for I have not figured it out. It’s frustrating to have people shoulder to shoulder while your trying to get away from the crowds so I avoid it at all costs. But not a soul was there so I decided to try my luck. I flipped threw my box and found a small midge I’ve never used before. I said “what the hell.” Out loud and tied it on. No weight no indicator almost a guarantee I wouldn’t land anything. On the outside lip of the pool I saw some fish. Finally, I thought, I have at least a chance of success. I cast about ten feet above the commotion and within the first few minutes I felt a small tug.I smiled, lifted my rod to what I assumed to be a snag. Wham. The biggest shine flew out of the water flipping and turning as if he was a shark snagging some top water meal. I nearly let go of the rod right then. This was already the biggest fish that wasn’t a steelhead I ever locked onto. He took a run through the Y-pool and outward to the dead end run off. Mind you I’m using 1.5lb test and can not just drag him in. For about 5 minutes we stayed locked with no sight of him as he descended into the deep pockets. Finally he darted back towards me. Running by me he doubled over my rod and swam up the shallow, back out of the water climbing through the low range rocks, I dropped my rod. Later realizing out of fear and not a tactic. He slowed and I approached my rod and regained control. From that point on he and I danced up a small stream pour out from the dam. By the time he tired we had been dancing for 25 minutes or so. I grabbed my net slowly pulled him close. He kicked and landed on the side of my net snapping the wood around it in two places. I scooped, took a breathe, and walked to shore. Another angler approached me with one word from the path, “damn.” I looked up and laughed. He brought a weight down. He measured just about 3lbs. Keeping him wet for most of this time I had to snap a photo of this guy. I placed him down and he sank right into the snow bank. I took a pic, kissed his head, sent him home. I sat on the bank for a good ten minutes just shaking. I couldn’t believe I shared that moment with him. This story has set me up to write this down. And I hope to share more in the future. The rest of the day was just as special. But I’ll never forget the day I pulled that guy out and the fight he gave me.