The club bar-b-q is a great time to meet the other members and to swap stories. I went along to chat, to sit in the sun and to ensure that none of the food went to waste. The burgers were excellent. Washed down with red wine, yummy.
As I had my fishing gear in the Land Rover I thought it would be rude not to have a few casts. I found a nice spot in the sun and sat down to have a couple of casts and a snooze. Sun and red wine has that effect. I was surprised to see a fish rise only a few yards from the bank, just the other side of the marginal weeds. I flicked a size 12 Gold Ribbed Hares Ear (GRHE) nymph at the rise. It was a half-hearted attempt and I was not too disappointed when my fly was ignored. Several random casts later I was losing interest. Sleep beckoned. However, I noticed the weeds moving and the shadow of a good fish. Immediate concentration and an unusually accurate cast resulted in a savage take and a screaming reel. The little Hardy reel was screeching, the line thrummed in the water and everyone looked in my direction. I smiled back at the members confidently but panic was building as I realized I had no backing on the reel. 30 yards of fly line seemed adequate when I loaded the reel. The fight was extreme. It took 20 minutes, the fish fought like a tiger and the landing net looked very small as I reached out at the end.
Catching a monster fish is great but to have so many witnesses is awesome. I was mentally exhausted and decided to stop fishing, another cast seemed pointless. The trout weighed exactly 6lb on the Salter scales. I nudged the scales but they would not register another ounce. Besides people were looking over my shoulder. The Keeper said that no browns had been stocked since 2014 and that the fish had over wintered, probably feeding on fry.
It was several days before I stopped thinking about that fish. It’s going to be hard to beat that at the next club bar-b-q.