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It was late May. John Armstrong called me. He told me that he and one his buddies had fished a stretch in Crawford County. The buddy had a fish on and a large brown attacked the smaller brown that was on the line.

John said that he wanted to go after this large male brown at first light the next morning. We met at the local gas station at 5:30am. The light was already coming up over the hill. John and I jumped in to my truck and off we sped to "The Hole". John hooked on a size six hornberg and placed a split shot about 14 inches up from the fly. John planned on dredging the deep slot the big brown came out of with the hornberg.

The cast was an upstream cast and it landed in the shallows just before the slot. John didn't strip more than 2 strips and the battle was on. I stood back a ways to NOT spook the hole. John crept up on the hole and put his hornberg to work.

It didn't take long and John was yelling "Len!!!! Net!!!"

I trotted up to the hole and John continued to battle the trout for 3-4 minutes. It finally tired out and came to my net.

The first thing John said was: "That is not the fish. It is not marked correctly." He was satisfied and decided to leave the other trout for another day.

The another day came about 10 days later. We were showing a father and son the ropes on that stream. The son and I went upstream and the father and John went to the hole and John still had the hornberg on and decided what the heck.

I heard the familiar "Len.....NET!!"

We jogged back to the hole. John had a huge bend on his rod and the father was in the water with his medium sized net awaiting the net job. I threw my much bigger net to him and then he netted it.

Some people have a knack for catching big trout. John Armstrong is one of them.


  1. spinner1's Avatar

    This is the big male from the first outing. John named it "Sven" and posed for one glory shot and sent Sven back to his home.

    John posed with "Lars" and sent him back to the exact same hole. Exact same fly.

    Luck plus skill equals......"Big" John Armstrong.
  2. Steven McGarthwaite's Avatar
    Hornberg's are still very effective at catching fish! The "Old Fly Patterns" still are as effective at catching fish today, as they were in yester years. When it comes to fishing, the fish have no concept of the term "New & Improved"!

    Time to go back through the "Just Old Flies and stuff" archives to rediscover, what most anglers over time have forgotten. ~Parnelli