Years ago, I encountered a man fishing a small creek’s entrance into a backwater lake. When I asked how he was doing, he said he had already put five 5-pound Largemouth Bass on his stringer, which he proudly held up, revealing that none of the five fish would have weighed over a pound and a half. Since that day, I’ve referred to fish size by their length in inches. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s easier to acquire the actual length or estimate it more accurately. Despite that, I’ve always contended that the fish, at least partially, are responsible for our overestimating their size. Just last week, I took one of my Grandsons trout fishing (yes. I do that sometimes). Each of us had caught several Rainbow Trout of 9 to 13 inches using size-12 Bivisibles before I drifted my fly past the branches of a submerged deadfall. I mended the line once before the fly disappeared in a foamy roil. The hookset revealed a heavyweight, and my grandson waded downstream to net the monster, which I had already proclaimed was 22 inches long. After a lengthy tug of war the fish was netted and judged to be a solid 20 inches. While we admired the beautiful, rich colors of the big Brown Trout, Eddie reached into his vest and retrieved a tape measure that showed the fish to have shrunk to 18,5 inches. How can fish change size so drastically in just a few minutes? See, it’s the fish’s fault.
“Hope Springs Eternal!” “The very foundation of sport fishing is based on a lie.” I have no idea who first voiced these two thruths, but true they are. Both saying go especially well together. Or maybe it just adrenaline. Or it could be….. On second thought, I have decided you are right, its just easier to blame the fish.
Stupid fish! Now will somebody please hand me another red worm?