Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Two Inch Rule

As the years go by the fish of course get bigger! Sometimes they even change species altogether.
That Deschutes pike minnow will magically transform itself into a big redside after a year or two. Of course it's ideal to never have witnesses to dispute ones "mythical" triumphs or at the very least make sure they are out of sight while these trout are being fought.I once fished with a guy who claimed to have hooked four, count 'em! four chinook all while I was fishing no more than 20 yards from him! Not once did I see his rod or line move...not once! Now that is what I call a skilled angler. Another fellow I used to drift fishing for winter steelhead with many years ago would violently set the hook on every snag or hesitation his terminal gear encountered. He would loudly exclaim "Damn I just missed a fish" then later while were talking about the day to another angler old Bill would proudly proclaim that he had hooked 12 or some like number of fish but just couldn't get the hook into them.
Now of course yours truly would never exaggerate such a thing *wink*

Enjoy the following essay courtesy of "The Contemplative Angler"

It is said that all anglers are liars. I deny that charge, I believe
that anglers simply view the material world in a different, more
open-minded way than the common man. We see the potential in all
things, the spirit of life springing forth endlessly. We know that the
fish we release today might, to the unenlightened gaze and the harsh
reality of a tape measure, be only ten inches long -- but we see more.
Next season it will be twelve inches perhaps, through the normal
process of growth and development; but we must first endure a harsh
winter without angling, and he was the last trout of the season. It
seems only right and proper that by March, that same 10" anemic rainbow
trout is now regaled as "the 18" brown I took on the Sugar, in the last hour of the season".
Nevertheless, there is a general code to our prevarication-- the 2"
rule. You know that when you return to the campfire at day's end,
everyone will have a story to tell about the fish they released/broke
off. The largest fish you took was twelve inches, but if you tell the
lads that, they will assume you are lying, that, in fact, the fish was
only ten inches. To counter their foolish skepticism, you report the
fish as fourteen inches -- everyone is satisfied and understands that
the fish was 12" -- because of the 2" rule. It was not necessary to
mention that it was not a trout, but a fallfish -- after all, among
fallfish it was a beauty.
Catch and Release has, of course, allowed trout to grow in the
manner described. For those who don't understand the merits of C&R,
I need only refer you to the 18" brown I took on the Sugar. That would
not have been possible without C&R.
The most marvelous case of the possibilities of C&R was brought
to me on the Manistee River near Grayling, MI, six years ago. It is
largely night fishing during the Hex hatch, and this night there was
only a sliver of a moon. A dear friend, but inveterate liar, was
fishing one hundred feet downstream of me when he suddenly whooped with
glee. A moment later I could just discern his outline in the moonglow
as he held aloft what he claimed was an 11" brown. I could not see the
fish. However, when we got to the campfire, shivering in the June chill
at midnight, I was amazed to learn that I had been witness to the
capture of an 18" brown. Fortunately, the successful angler was soon
convincing himself of his veracity through the medium of a tall glass,
and, as he was pouring, and it was his bottle, I was equally convinced.
Such is angling. It has many arts and arcane elements, not the
least of which is the 2" rule, use it well and often.

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