In Search of Giant Brook Trout
Last year we made a video edit called Distracted for the IF4 film festival. We had so much fun fishing to bull trout that we decided to delicate this year to Char. They are the baddest and most beautiful freshwater fish out there. It was a no brainer. Bull trout, brook trout, sea run dolly varden, arctic char and lake trout. This is what we were after.
The crew on this trip consisted of Derek Olthuis, Spencer Higa and myself (Cortney Boice). We started the season with a trip in search of the biggest brook trout we could find. We got some intel on a lake the that didn't have many fish, but the ones in there were big. It was a struggle getting into this lake as it is not just a hop jump and skip. More like uphill both ways with tons of camera gear and camping and fishing gear.
The lake was beautiful and we were really hopeful that something good was going to happen. We set up camp and it wasn't long before all 3 of us were on the water.
We fished hard the first day, and by days end we were empty handed. I only saw one fish that I ended up stumbling onto. I was walking thought the thick swamp and my foot fell in a moose hole. As I was falling I saw a fish spook out of the corner of my eye. That was the only single and solitary fish we saw that day.
That night we talked about how we could pull something off the next day. Maybe we weren't using the right bugs... maybe there weren't any fish in this lake?
We woke up with high hopes that today would be the day. We started in the dark and fished throughout the day again. After you get bit by over 1000 mosquitos you almost start to get used to it. I almost wanted to end my life they were so bad. The only relief was to put you coat and waders on and bundle up. Any exposed part of your body was toast. Even going to the bathroom was a challenge.
Just as we threw in the towel I decided to check on the fish that I saw take off the day before. As I crawled into position, what did my wondering eyes appear, but a beautiful colored up cutthroat tucked up under the bank. I never would have seen this dude if I hadn't spooked him the day before. These fish weren't supposed to be in here... it sort of boggled my mind. I was ok with it though because I had a shot at this fish. I called Spencer over and we collaborated on how to catch this dude with one cast. That is all we had because this fish was spooky. I threw on a little black leach pattern and tossed it right in front of his face. Let it sink slowly... as soon as that dude saw it, he was on top of it within a second. He slammed it, then it was game on!
Sometimes you fish for a lot of days and you don't catch anything. These are the days most remembered. This was the only fish of the trip, but you know what? It was totally worth it.