Last two days with Doug Kilpatrick

Friday and Saturday I fished with Captain Doug Kilpatrick. Our goal was the six.

Early on day one, we found a large group of fish, some of which seemed easily big enough. I hooked one early, and even though it didn’t jump we got a good enough look at it to call it barely 80 pounds, at which point we broke it off.
After an hour Doug spotted a large fish sliding along the surface, and we got the fly in front of it with a long lead. He lined it up, tracked it, and cracked open to eat. We set the hook, and off to the races we were.

The fish didn’t jump at first, and we only got a look at the full size of the bite we’d taken when we first saw the fish. Suffice to say that it was massive, and our estimates ranged from 120 to 140, each with an ‘or better’ tacked on to the end. Our trepidation grew when we saw the fish’s girth on a few jumps:

About 45 minutes in to the fight we could tell that the leader was wrapped around the fish, as its tail kicks were telegraphed with too much exaggeration. A few jumps later it came off and we were back in the game.
After an hour and 20 minutes the fish went shallow, and we had a few passing opportunities, though none of them worked out. The fish then ran across the basin, cutting a line through the squiggles on the GPS that he had laid earlier. At this point the fish rubbed on the bottom, in an apparent attempt to rid itself of the fly. We stayed connected through another 2 greyhounding leaps, and then after two hours the 6 lb gave out.
Later in the day we found many ore fish, though we couldn’t get any to commit to the fly. We had follows, tip ups, and tracks–everything but the final grab.

Day 2 was a quite different day. We found fish, and fed one early. While it was big enough, its first jump threw the fly. We kept looking, and found more fish though less than the day before.
Into the glare on a blind shot I had a fish eat the fly, though I never came tight.
Later, I had the same thing happen; a fish lined up, opened its mouth, I pulled back and felt nothing.
The last fish I fed (after, admittedly, some casting issues) ate the fly coming at the boat and I was tight to him until the fly came out once again.

I had a great time with Doug and Aaron as always, and tomorrow I fish with John O’Hearn for some of these early season giants while they’re around.