Fish of a lifetime

Seven days of some of the most consistently ape shit Trib Fishing is hard to write about. There were so many incredible moments during this trip that I may need a few weeks to actually wrap my mind around what just happened back in NY. While editing pictures I realized there were a few compelling story lines that my camera captured, but the one it didn't, is on my mind.

Breadon Martinson will never be the same
 After 6 days of hardcore Brown Trout fishing we decided to take our game further East and target some Steel. After a three doughnut drive, we eventually lumbered our way (long after daybreak) to a very popular stretch of a very popular river. Paradise was what we hoped for, filled with giant fish and a light crowd of post holiday swing junkies, nice hats and cigars included.

We happened across a couple of guys with room next to them and decided to strike up a conversation before we started crushing the beat next to them.

Shack, Slim and Smiles were just like us, a group of three buddies finishing up a great week of fishing together. Things had been amazing for them also and they seemed genuinely happy to share some space with us.

It pays to be agile, hostile and mobile

As we were game planning in the bushes for the probable ass whooping we were about to apply, the huddle upstream of us blew up. Shack had hooked into his fish of a lifetime and everyone in earshot now knew. It was pure gorgeousness as everyone dropped what they were doing to join in the party. It took a friend or 2 to handle these fish all week long, add a camera man and all of a sudden there are 3 guys sharing in the joy every time a fish was landed. The love from total strangers for a dude with bent graphite almost brought a tear to my eye as we all anxiously awaited the beasts arrival at our feet.

I snapped a quick pic of Braedon shortly after he helped Shack tail his fish of a lifetime.

 It is an incredible experience to be truly present and genuinely happy for a buddy, let alone a total stranger, in a moment he will never forget. Everyone in that pool had been chasing that same euphoria and knew the significance of what had just happened to one of our brothers. Slim's very expensive camera was documenting the chaos and the photo shoot looked like something out of a fly fishing magazine, we were as high as you can get.

And then it happened. With out a word or warning, Shack turned, grabbed his rod and stepped back into the hole. Having shared everything for a week of hard fishing Slim and Smiles were expecting a shot at the glory hole and a chance at a beast of their own. It was uncomfortable to watch. If the seven deadly sins of fishing had been elves, Greed, Gluttony and Selfishness were hiding in the bushes of the Paradise Hole that morning. Kind of made us sick.

Only needed a shoe horn, no Vaseline 

So later in the day as Breadon and I were taking a skunking and enjoying it, ol Slim and Smiles appear in the bushes behind us. They left Shack alone after the incident to land fish and take pictures on his own for the day. They were all smiles which surprised me after finding out they had not had any success or even fished much at all. We were all pretty well spent from a hard week and our dials were set at chit chat instead of cast endlessly to finish the day. They explained to us that Shack was Shack and he may have shown that side before, but he was a good friend and added greatly to the life of any trip and would always be welcome.

 "To good to leave home" said Slim as he winked and explained how they got him back.

Seems before the lads split up that day, Slim told Shack his camera malfunctioned and the pictures of his fish of a lifetime had been lost. They stayed long enough to watch him squirm and panic then wandered away to a hole on the river where numbers and ego don't matter as much as friendships.

Not sure how long he held out on that picture.


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