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    Win a Reaper Contest

    My First Kayak Catch AKA.. Fighting the Fear!

    My First Kayak Catch AKA.. Fighting the Fear!

    At this point in my life, most my stories are fishing stories. I couldn’t say what makes one fishing trip better than the next. I will however share my favorite so far.

    Let me start off by explaining my fear of water. It’s not a little fear it’s bordering terror honestly. I have let it keep me from a lot of things for a lOoong time. That is until last year. I moved to beautiful Lake Havasu. I am blessed with an amazing partner. He is understanding and patient and  appreciates my love of fishing. He bought a kayak and started fishing that way.

    This meant if we were going to fish together I needed to kayak. He was fantastic! Bought me a paddle kayak, PFD and various other things to get me started.

    He took me out first and helped me get used to the kayak, how to paddle, even deep water re-entry.. Which I must admit to hating! Once I was feeling a bit more comfortable we started talking fishing.

    He knows I love catching catfish, while these may not be everybody’s favorite fish, I adore them. There is just something about their size and strength I love. So knowing that a catfish would take me for quite the ride he got me an anchor too lol.

    We went out to a sweet spot and anchored up. We each dropped a couple of lines and waited, we chatted about stuff and I tried not to be too nervous.

    It wasn’t long before I had a bite. I was so worried I would mess up. I hollered at him to come help me I had no clue how to get a fish in the kayak. Not that I had not been shown or told how. I just got scared about falling in the water and any confidence I had went out the window! He was a little ways off and jokingly told me to just land the fish. I was reeling like crazy and my boat rocked a little but I just kept at it. Finally got him to the boat, netted him and got him on fish grips before he could flip out. I looked up and he was closer, but snapping pictures. For a second I was mad , what if I had lost that fish, or tipped over? Then he told me he was on he was over, but sw I had it under control, so he took pictures instead. I realized then, he believed in me and his confidence was valid. I did it, by myself and lived!

    This wasn’t the biggest catfish I have ever caught, nor the best fight. It will however always be my favorite. It was my first kayak catch. It was the beginning of a new lifestyle for me. In the months since i have transformed as an angler. I kayak fish regularly. I still have tiny moments of fear when it’s windy, or the water is full of wake, but I know I can do it. I know it is worth it. I’m setting goals constantly, even considering kayak fishing salt water. I am doing tournaments, trying new things. This wasn’t just another fish story this catch was me Fighting the Fear and Winning!

    Author: Harmony Rowling

    Fly Fishing Nordic Countries

    Fly Fishing Nordic Countries

    This summer I traveled trough Norway and Sweden by car, sleeping in a tent, fishing all day, living on what nature had to offer. I saw a lot of beautiful places but the Norwegian coastline was by far the most stunning landscape I ever came across. Crystal clear water, waterfalls and mountain tops still covered in snow right above the beaches that I fished made me forget about time, worries and the “real” world.

    One day I discovered a Fjord hardly fished by any people. After I had erected my tent I grabbed my tremor #7 and walked to the nearby beach to see what I could catch that evening. Before I did the first cast I sat down at the shore, took a deep breath and admired the unbelievable beauty of nature in this place. I felt grateful for the chance of witnessing such beauty even more because shortly before I started my trip I recovered from a broken leg that made it impossible for me to fish for two months. So after I gazed at the calm sea for quite some time I washed my face and hands in the salty water and waded out to cast my shrimp imitation to whatever fish that would eat it. I didn’t even have time to retrieve my first cast when something hit my fly hard. I first thought I was fighting a searun browntrout but it was a decent Atlantic mackerel that was bending my tremor pretty good. I had never caught that species before so I was very nervous when I got it to the net. Everything worked out and after admiring the beautiful colors of the fish for a second I released it into the ocean. What happened in the next hours I will never forget. Almost every cast got me a fish. The mackerels were in a feeding frenzy and they would sometimes attack my fly four or five times until I was able to hook them. This species does not grow very big but is famous for the fight. After 25 fish in the net I stopped counting. The amount of fish in the bay was insane. When the sun began to set the searun browntrouts started feeding as well and I was able to catch a bunch of small ones. It was a perfect evening. I decided to keep one of the bigger mackerels for dinner – a very good decision since the Atlantic mackerel is related to tuna and tastes almost as good.

    When I think of that evening now, four weeks later, I can still recall the feeling of ease and fulfillment that hours gave me. But now enough words so you can check out the pictures and the awesome match of colors between an Atlantic mackerel and the Tremor SW.

    Author: Peter Corzilius

    The Search of the Elusive Coho

    The Search of the Elusive Coho

    It was a cold fall day in the pacific north west recent rains have prevented fishing for a few weeks but this morning was different the air was crisp and the leaves were just starting to turn into the brilliant collage of red yellow and browns. We hoped into my car loaded up our gear and headed north to a river i have not yet been to before but a wise old fishermen had told us tales of fish in the river that very few people know about.

    We reach our destination after a brief car ride as we hear the sound of the river approaching with anticipation of catching some big salmon today my heart beats ever so slightly faster. On goes the wool socks and lucky toque and off we go wading down the river i can feel the coldness of the water through my waders and so could my friend we hike along the river bank over logs and under a trestle.

    We both stop and listen …. No cars no one else just me him and the river. No sign of any fish yet we both thought that we were sent on a wild goose hunt.

    As we continue down the river it starting to get narrower and deeper making it difficult to walk the pebble banks of the river

    We round the bend and there’s a dark hole splash a large red coho leaps out of the water we both immediately hustle dropping our bags and gunny for best position to start casting and swinging our flys through the dark hole along the clay bank, many memories were made that day,many fish were caught and released all on my Mystic Inception.

    Author: Adrian Lowe

    Loved My Opportunity To Be Out In The Ozarks Fly Fishing

    Loved My Opportunity To Be Out In The Ozarks Fly Fishing

    My story is most likely going to be a little different from a majority of the entries you received for this contest. My story does not discuss a “Trophy” catch, extraordinary number of fish landed, or any kind of victory to mention. Please enjoy a simple tale that changed my life as an angler.

    It was on a bone chilling 14 degrees one a February Saturday morning when I realized how passionate I was going to become with fly-fishing in the Ozark Streams. I was very early on into the hobby of fly-fishing and had very little equipment but had a great amount of interest and excitement about the sport. It was a three-hour drive to the Current River in Salem, Mo where I normally fished. As the sun came up, I was standing at the edge of the river waiting for enough light to get in. It seriously cold, but my excitement and pure need to land trout had me standing in alone among the wilderness as just about every other sane fisherman was still in their warm cozy bed. This time of year the water is very low and gin clear so I knew my odds where slim, but I had to give it a shot.

    I waded down river fishing every inch for little over a mile, which is my typical turn around spot as heading up river is a challenge with no banks to ease the return back to the car. At this time, a blue heron (at least I think it was one) had landed just down river from me and seemed to be very interested in what I was doing. With its sideways looks and squawking, I believe he was telling me I was a crazy fool! He began leaping from rock to rock down river while looking back to me. I took it as a sign that the massive bird was telling me “down a little further” so I followed eager to get into some trout. This went on for a few hours when I found myself over two miles downstream! I realized that I was hungry and it was way past lunch so I needed to turn back. As I tried to follow my exact footsteps back through the few deep pools, I made an incorrect step and slide uncontrollably into the deep water going fully in over my head. If you remember, it was 14 degrees! I pulled myself out of the water and began stripping off my waders and clothes. I was literally freezing, and quickly squeezed every bit of water I could out of my clothes and waders and put them back on. Thankfully, I had some training from my Army days on how to make it through these scenarios. I had to high tail it back to the car just to keep my body temperature up. I ended up getting out of the river and tracking through the thick woods. By the time I reached my vehicle, both legs of my waders where destroyed and I lost about half of the gear out of my hip pack. After getting the car running and heater blasting, I warmed up and began to head home while making a quick phone call to my wife just to let her know I am alive. During the conversation she asked, “How was the fishing”, I replied “No fish, but It was quiet, beautiful, and I can’t wait to do it again”. Even after experiencing that awful day on the river, I still enjoyed, and loved my opportunity to be out in the Ozarks fly-fishing. It was at that moment that I realized, I will be spending a majority of my life fly fishing rivers, lakes, ponds, and even toilet bowls if that is all that is available.

    Author: Alex Catlett

    Tippy Storm Battle

    Tippy Storm Battle

    It didn’t take us long to don the necessary layers and rain gear to protect us from the elements. J-man, Screyelts and I had just stopped off, at the Tippy damn, en route home from a duck hunting trip. It’s mid November in Michigan and the sky has opened up and started to pound us with rain, sleet, and a dash of snow. With now cold fingers, it was a slightly longer process to get our rods rigged and down to the river. Screyelts and I wasted no time making it down to the waters edge first; J-man lagged behind.

    I tied on a poorly, self-tied, Madonna fly and began chucking it as far as I could into the frigid, turbulent, black water in the torrential weather that now began to get even more dangerous. With Go-Pro in hand, Screyelts began to capture the scene and laugh out loud at the lunacy of us wading into the Manistee River screaming around us in wintry conditions. I too chuckled at our decision and pondered why J-man hadn’t made it down yet. Just as this thought crossed my mind, in the direction of the steep and slippery staircase behind me, I heard a crashing sound.

    Turning around, I saw J-man sitting on his rear end, cussing and looking defeated. He had made it more than half way down before slipping and flinging his feet skyward landing on his rod, breaking it in two. It was hard not to laugh and snicker at his comic misfortune, however, with the sleet, poor visibility, and noise of the river, we didn’t have to try hard in order to disguise our howling laughter. Solemnly, J-man returned to his truck to rig his other rod. He would not be deterred from getting into the river and trying his luck.

    Meanwhile, Screyelts and I kept swinging our flies into the deep unknown, desperately praying to get lucky and strike chrome. A short time later, our poor companion met us back down by the river and after a couple drags of his wet cigarette he waded into the torrent with us. We were three amigos, chucking meaty flies on 9 foot long rods, into a storm of black, icy water being pummeled by Mother Nature lighting up the sky with flashes of lightning. I was enraptured and inundated with camaraderie, adventure, thrill, and the slight sense of being at the right place at the right time.

    soaked to the core fly fishing

    In this moment, my swinging line thumped then came tight with the weight of a fish. I set the hook and it was game on. My rod bent and I yelled to the others. Screyelts hurried over with his waterproof camera and J-man sauntered downstream of me with his large landing net wearing a look of approval and pride as he began to position himself to net the treasure. I fought the fish for what seemed eternity, ever aware at the possibility of the fish thrashing and tossing my fly. I kept the rod low and applied steady pressure towards the shore, minding his leaps and the current pulling us apart, keeping us from meeting.

    With the skill and expertise of J-man, we brought that fish to hand and shouted in victory. That evening, we narrowly stole a little piece of perfection form Mother Nature. That experience strengthened our friendship and bond as fishermen and allies against the elements. I am extremely thankful for those men, that moment, and that fish. It was a beautiful Lake run Brown trout. Even though it wasn’t a Steelhead, it was still a personal best and treasure I will never forget. As I released the fish, it effortlessly slipped out of my hand, quickly making his way back into the darkness.

    Thank you, fish.

    Author: Allen Campbell