Currently there is a four way tie as to my favorite fish to catch. The four are the elusive Muskie, the fierce striking False Albacore, the slimy Snakehead and the aggressive Steelhead.
Take a minute and think about your favorite fish to catch... was it hard to pick just one? It was for me, I currently have a four way tie as to my favorite fish to catch! My first favorite is the Muskie; it is like no other fresh-water fish out there. These fish behave in mysterious ways, are unpredictable and curious. When they decide to strike, they do so with a vengeance and swim at fast speeds. A Muskie is known as the fish of ten-thousand cast because you literally can cast a thousand times and never land one. But that one time, that one fight that lasts for what seems like an eternity, but in reality is about 10 minutes, is worth the countless cast before it.
My first time Muskie fishing was with Blane Chocklett and my first cast was an exception to the rule. I was lucky to hook a Muskie on my first cast of the day, I am not able to say I landed the first one I hooked.
After two hours of fishing and losing two right beside the boat. Finally I hooked and successfully landed a 25 pound, 48 inch Muskie. I went home with the story, the pictures and a tooth left behind in the net to probe it.
My second favorite fish is the False Albacore because They are up feeding on the surface one second and then they are gone, until they fiercely strike my fly and the fight is on. Albies are addicting, my drag is set, my line is still screaming and I am trying to get my fish to the boat before I lose it to a shark. I caught my first Albie with John Mauser.
The most exhilarating part of the day was almost being decapitated by an Albie. I had my line over the side of the boat as I took a break and an Albie came out of nowhere, took my fly and almost my head too.
I my fly line shot up in the air and wrapped around my neck. As I continued to fight the fish, John rushed over and helped get me untangled. Several days later I had a burn mark from the line on my neck.
My third favorite fish to catch is the Snakehead that were introduced into the United States and in some parts of the country they are still considered an invasive species. I do not look at them that way, to me Snakeheads are an exhilarating fish to catch.
The excitement starts from the time I watch a snakehead explode on top of the water, it inhales my fly, to the fight we have: me trying to keep it out of the grass as it fights with everything it has to swim deeper into the reeds.
Finally I have the fish next to the boat and then I’m holding that slimy and beautiful Snakehead for a quick picture before I release him.
To finish out the four way tie for my favorite fish is the latest species I have crossed off my list, a Steelhead. Fishing up at steelhead alley, with Steelhead Alley Outfitters, my dad and the Norvise guys was completely different then the saltwater fishing I have been doing recently.
Every time I cast my rod I never knew what epic encounter I was going to have. You have to really work and fight for these fish.
At the end of the fight you are left feeling accomplished as you stand there holding that silver, shimmery, pinkish fish. Every cold minute spent on/in the water walking, wading, and fighting a fish was worth it. I would be back up there in a heartbeat if I could.