Monday, November 24, 2014

6.9 Pound Rainbow Trout Round Valley Reservoir

The trout broke someone else off. The two yellow orbs of bait weren't mine, and the hook they were connected to wasn't swallowed.

My first trout of the season at Round Valley, third or fourth time out, all of these short stints. I set a mealworm and marshmallow about 20 feet deep, returned to my car, and revisited the rod about eight minutes later. As I approached, I saw the line was tight, straight out. I thought I must have set the rod down before the steel egg sinker hit bottom, so no slack resulted with bail open. And then I saw the spool was empty, and amazed I lifted the rod, reeled some line onto the spool. I'm not sure I tied a proper clinch knot, but I guess so. It's amazing the trout didn't either pull the rod and reel in or break the line off the spool.

It was a long, hard fight. The trout crashed on the surface about 300 feet out. When I got it close to shore, it took off on repeated runs, giving the six-pound test line...a test. Marvelous to see the fish struggling in close. I felt some pity, knowing I was going to take it home. Fish are just like us, in a way. They seek pleasure and flee pain. But we really have no idea just quite what a fish's experience is, although it's not human. Nor would an assumption that they feel pain in any intensity comparable to us have decisive evidence in its favor.

The yellow eyes were fierce, with cobalt blue centers, the teeth spike-sharp. I took it to Behr's Bait and Tackle on the way home to have it weighed. 6.9 pounds, slightly less than 25 inches long.