Christina, newest member of the Quality Chicks, does not take lunch breaks. Not when 25″ rainbows cruise by the picnic table.
Christina showed up at the Big Hole Lodge, just her second trip fly fishing, ready to begin her journey toward mastering the sport. Her bags weren’t even unpacked before she strung up a rod and began casting practice with fellow Chick, Chris, on the front lawn of the lodge.
Over the course of the week, she caught numerous fish and even completed the Big Hole River Grand Slam, catching a grayling, cutthroat, rainbow, brookie, and brown all in one day. On her final day of the week, guide Marc took her and three other Chicks down to the Beaverhead River. After a productive morning, the crew spread out table clothes under a sun tent on Wheat’s Pond and sat down to a liesurley lunch. Or so they thought.
Two bites into her sandwich, Christina spotted a massive rainbow cruising the shore near the tent.
She grabbed her rod and carefully flipped a crawfish pattern into the moss in front of the fish. She waited until the big bow swam within sight of her fly and she twitched it ever so slightly, just enough to give it the illusion of a live crawfish burying itself in the moss. BAM. The rainbow flipped its tail and dove on the fly. As soon as it felt the hook it was running across the lake like a bonefish, peeling line off of Christina’s reel, and taking her well into her backing.
And then it ran back, sending Christina back-peddaling to the barbed-wire fence surrounding the lake. Her line caught in the fence briefly, then wrapped around her legs just as the fish turned for another run. Marc saw what was bound to ensue and leapt from his lunch. He ran to Christina, stuck out his arm, and shouted, “Grab my arm and lift your legs!” As Christina did a one armed pull-up on Marc’s arm, fellow guide, Mike, untangled the line from her feet. All the while, the three were shuffling toward the shore as the rainbow tugged them from the other side of the line. At this point it was unclear who had caught whom.
In the end, Christina was admiring her conquered through the lens of her underwater camera as Marc revived the fish near shore.
Congratulations on a great week!
(Photos by: Christina)