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Backcountry Bruiser!


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On the first day of my Colorado trip, we decided to take a hike into a remote area, we had fished the year before with great success. What we would witness this year would be somewhat different than last year. Although the river hadn't changed much, the inhabitants had. We arrived at our favorite spot in this river with high hopes. We were throwing "Big & Ugly" #8 Yellow stimulators, and the Rainbows were loving them, but at our favorite hole we changed it up a bit and went weighted Wollybuggers. After landing several 14-16 inch fish my buddy turned the hole over to me. I casted in my large black Wolly, and WHAM! fish on-and gone! This was a better fish than we'd caught up to this point, and he showed his muscle with a quick break off! Several more casts would not get the big guy back to feed, we let the spot rest and returned an hour later....he was nowhere to be found. We werent ready to give up on him yet, we let the river rest and returned 2 days later, we knew he was going to be in the same spot, and all of us wanted him in the net! After having him attack my buddies Leach pattern, and get off after a short battle we were sure he would elude us once again. My friend Steve was determined to get "Troutzilla" in hand and stayed in the hole as we moved on to new spots. After returning to the hole Steve said he could see the big fish rising in the eddy on the far bank! He motioned me to wade out and see for myself....sure enough there were several large fish taking some sort of dries off the top (I think spinner fall) Steve gave me the hole and I quickey landed a solid Rainbow, but not our target fish. Steve and Brian decided to leave and head back tward the mouth of the river, I decided to stay and try to get one last shot at him. I threw several different patterns at him with no luck. I could see him come from behind the log at the far end of the eddie and sip from the surface. I decided to try one other pattern, and #14 Lt Cahill parachute, after about the 3rd cast, he appeared and took it, I set into him and it was a battle! he had me wrapped up around logs, and took me from top to bottom of his hole, I fianlly landed him and it was over, I had "Troutzilla" I ran as fast as I could with him in the net to the mouth of the river to get a few quick pics, and to show them I had got him! The pic isnt the best, but it gives you an idea of his size, he was 22+ on the tape measure. A great fish on a dry fly! He was released to grow larger, and challenge us next year!


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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
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