Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Largest Trout, Ever!

My big Sea Run Brown Trout. 
If it hadn’t been for some good fortune, I never would have landed this memorable trophy. I was fishing the Rio Grande river in Chile, South America at a pool they called the Cementerio. It was so named because the area we were fishing was near an old burial ground. The river is composed of riffles, glides, runs, pools and minor rapids that are easy to wade in many places. It was widely known for its large Sea Run Browns or Sea Trout. It was common to hook fish in the 8 to 15 pound range and occasionally some that were much larger. The record for the river was over 30 pounds. 

The water that I was fishing was a long run that flowed along a high bank and then turned and emptied into a large pool. Below the pool a series of rapids extended the drift further down river. As I stepped into the water we had less than an hour to fish, so I quickly started casting a large, black, articulated leech. After about the sixth cast I started to move downstream when suddenly my rod was almost ripped out of my hands. I had a good one on and with a burst of energy it streaked down river with me in hot pursuit. I didn’t think I would be able to stop its surge of power, but after seven or eight minutes I finally got control when it paused to rest in a large pool. I had a chance if I got lucky.

I tightened my drag and began reeling down to the fish hoping to prevent it from going further downstream. The light began to fade as I continued to fight the fish. After what seemed like an eternity, I reached the pool and my guide was waiting there with the net. It was almost dark and my arms were tiring as I started to horse the fish towards the bank. Amazingly, and with a sigh of relief, the Sea Trout began to tire as I continued to work it in to the shore.  Finally, the fish submitted to the rod’s constant pressure and my guide quickly slipped the net under its massive body. I was exhausted but elated with the outcome. 

After a few photos and measurements of its length and girth the fish was released. It weighed right at 20 pounds. As we headed back I knew that without my guide, the eddy and a little luck, I probably would have lost the fish.

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