Well, you?ve all heard about the one that got away.

One of my goals for the year has been to catch a decent-sized catfish on the fly rod. I?ve had fits trying to do so. I?ve managed to land a couple to about four pounds and have lost two bigger ones. Yesterday I was fishing by myself and as hot as it?s been I just had my 3 wgt, throwing a #10 Bead-eyed Woolly Bugger for some ?gills. I?d sorted off 9 decent females and was looking for one more to make 10, my self-imposed limit. I had just landed a bass about 14? that gave me a good tussle and chewed my tippet up a little. Since I was only wanting one more fish I decided to ?chance it? and continued to cast. Any guesses?

I?m still not sure if the fish came out of the water and took the fly as it landed, or took it immediately and came out when I set the hook, but I got a good look at a couple feet of catfish as he grabbed my fly and headed out. I got him on the reel and 10 minutes later had managed to keep him out of two brush piles by ?herding? him with the trolling motor. I thought I had him headed for deep water and hoped I could get him to shore. Unfortunately, he had other ideas, cut behind me and got deep into one of the brush piles. I could look down into it and my leader looked like on of those string puzzles. I?m in a six foot boat here so I don?t have a lot of room to maneuver. Got down on my knees and started breaking off sticks. Finally I broke off a limb and managed to break my leader at the same time. Ain?t flyfishing for catfish fun?

Oh, did I mention I still saw the other end of the leader, reached into my shoulders, somehow got him in the gills and flung his little butt into the boat. 27? 8.3#

Changed my leader this morning. It looked like it had been through a blender. I'd rather be lucky than good.