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The One That Got Away on the Green River

Fly fishing can be a surreal experience mending the soul of any person. That is, until you have to deal with the one that got away! The One That Got Away I’ve battled the crowds, seen the masses of fish in the crystal clear water, and been skunked by the some of the most educated trout around on the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam. On a float trip last fall, I experienced the true meaning of …The One That Got Away. This fight and escape was like no other that I have experienced in my 10 years of fly fishing. This fish was not just big, but the most aggressive and determined trout I have ever seen!! It was a picture perfect moment; I spot a large rising fish on the left side of the river about 50 down. We row into position.

I make the perfect cast and my drift is right on target. Suddenly, the fish comes almost completely out of the water. Now you are probably thinking, big deal, what makes this the ultimate one that got away story? It’s not the size of the fish or even the amount of time the fish was on, it’s all about the angler. Moments before my fly drifted over this fantastic fish, a dive-bombing Osprey snagged him out from under me nose, or more accurately, the nose of my fly! Maybe their eyesight is not quite as good as I thought, because this bird chewed off way more than he should have! It was a perfect snag, both talons sunk into the back of the fish. The bird was able to pull the fish almost completely out of the water with a few extremely labored flaps before he went down.

Yep, the Osprey was completely dragged under by the heavy, powerful and extremely determined fish. Amazingly, the Osprey surfaced still clutching the fish and made another attempt to conquer the beast. Dragging the fish half submerged across 10 feet of river, the bird was once again almost completely submerged. Again the Osprey surfaces, well, almost surfaces. Only one wing comes out of the water and flaps frantically. One had to wonder who was having who lunch! Unbelievably, it started to look like the fish was going to roll the Osprey under it. Sure enough, the fish came over the top and was partially in the air while the Osprey was completely submerged under it! The trout made a vicious twisting movement and the Osprey apparently thought oxygen was a better meal. It let go of the trout. The soaking wet bird laboriously returned to a nearby perch for a well-deserved rest. We all stared at each other in complete shock.

Now that is one hell of a One That Got Away story!!.


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