The big guy, Arnold, had been just where I expected him to be. He was chillin’ on the upstream side of a dead log. The perfect place for a big cutthroat trout to be, just out of the current on a nice seam. The cast was pretty Zen, with the fly coming to rest 15 yards from his hiding spot. The drift was perfect. The line mended perfectly. I waited. The drift precisely to the spot. He took it! The hook was set!
That was just the beginning not the end. Now, the next set of skills is required. Landing Arnold was going to test all my skills. In Wyoming, we fish with barb-less hooks. This is much easier on the fish, as barbs injures the fish, gets stuck in their mouth, or worse a barbed hook gets swallowed. A barb-less hook must have continuous tension, or it will simply fall out of the fish's mouth.
Arnold turned to the current and went down deep. I reeled him in a bit as I wanted his head turned towards me and the current. I was only about 25 yards away from a big catch, the biggest of the trip so far. Arnold then did something a bit surprising; he came straight towards me. I reeled the line quickly, surprised by this tactic. Now, only 10 yards away he changed course again. He reversed and swam away hard. This created tension on the line, and a great bend in my fly-rod. Instinctively, I resisted letting line out, as I had gallantly fought for the few yards of progress.
Arnold must have known, maybe he had done this dance before. I clearly had not. When I resisted, the tension brought him to the top of the water. Once at the top, Arnold jumped into the air. Beautiful! He was at least 20 inches, and a prize for any angler. Arnold flipped his head to the side while in the air, and out came the hook. My heart sank, I knew he was gone. Arnold bested me that day, though I learned a valuable lesson. Never celebrate the catch, until the bounty is in the boat.
I am reminded of this experience by our current market. I recently thought the market was due a rally, and we took positions to take advantage of a rally. And what a rally we got last week! What a difference a week makes. Great call? …not yet! The market needs to follow through to see a more meaningful bottom. New highs might signal the next leg up for this market. While failure to make new highs could lead to a deeper pullback before Fall. Stay tuned, this next week will give us some clues. Watch for the surprises…
See ya soon Arnold!
Enjoy the day…r2