The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Top 10 Fish of 2014

Looking back this past weekend on the top 10 fish of 2014.  It was probably the best year of fishing I've had in my life.  Arguably the summer of 2004 in Alaska is the only other year that compares.  Using a complex algorithm based on the below criteria points, I have created my top 10 of 2014. 1st- How big was the fish?  2nd- In what method was the fish caught? (sight, sip, fly, etc) 3rd- How beautiful is the picture capturing the moment?

So, here you go.  Enjoy and fish on!
#10--  19 inch FAT brown trout.  Watched this guy come from the shadows to nail this size 4 Zonker.  Great start to the year!
#9-- 18 inch Cutthroat.  Watched this beauty slowly rise for a size 8 Salmon Fly! One of the most beautifully colored fish of my life.  It was indescribable!
Honorable mention.  $1,000 catch of a lifetime.  After an unsuccessful home attempt of slicing and line pulling, my wife took my ashamedly to the ER.  It went to the bone..couldn't believe how painful this was.

#8-- Happens to be a 21 1/2 incher caught on a size 16 Stonefly on top.  Its an interesting hatch which I've become fond of.  Its feels more like a BWO hatch but its during the hot summer.  This guy didn't hesitate as he slowly sipped it up!
#7-- As I was walking up river I saw a rise out of the corner of my eye and way closer then I would have wanted.  I froze and did a short roll cast above the rise.  Just happened to be a 19 1/2 inch pig who slurped up my size 10 Grasshopper!!

Honorable Mention.  2 for 1!!  Pre-Drake hatch I was fishing a large Drake with an emerger 24 inches below.  The 17 incher took the Dry Fly and then he made a heavy run leading me to believe he was much bigger than initially thought.  Nope...just a 2nd 12 incher that took the emerger.  2 for 1!!
#6-- 24 1/2 inch Tiger Trout.  Caught this guy sight-fishing on a size 18 green midge.  Lucky but I gauged the depth of my fly, saw his mouth open and close, set the hook and wallah!  In the mouth and what a big fish!
#5-- 19 inch Brown trout caught with a size 18 PMD 6X tippet at dusk!  I watched him for 10 minutes before carefully placed this perfect cast.  He was in slow shallow water and I had to make it across river with no drag.
Honorable mention.  Wow I hit the Green Drake hatch perfectly this year!
#4--  This 21 inch beauty was landed sight fishing in shallow rifles.  Size 12 Green Drake.  It was the 5th of 6th 19+ inch fish I caught that day!  Most epic Drake hatch I've ever been in.
#3-- Fish of 2014 was this pig of a Rainbow Trout.  A football 23 1/4 incher that took me 100yds downstream.  Strong and beautiful, I landed this guy on a size 16 Brassie.
#2-- This 23 inch HUGE Brown Trout was caught sight-fishing during the spawn,  Hit my Copper John and I missed him!  I was devastated.  I watched him for 10 minutes then cast again and he hit it hard! Took me way downstream as I fell in getting soaking wet.  After an epic fight, I finally landed him.  It was every bit of River Runs Through It!  My joy turned to devastation as he couldn't recover.  I feel terrible that he didn't survive.  One of the biggest fish of my life and I killed him...but man was it amazing.
#1-- Fish if 2014 was a 24 inch Brown Trout caught on a size 16 Brassie!  He was incredible in color, size, and strength.  I was giddy with excitement bringing in this beautiful fish!

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