Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from pg. 62:
"You've got to beat her before she reaches those root wads. See them down there at the end of the pool?" Jimmy shouts. The fish is tired. I can feel her fatigue, and I can see that the shape flounders a little when I give her the butt and strain the line until it sings. Will the knots hold? She flounders back toward the current, and I lose 20 feet, then 50 more. She's going to make the root wads.
"Boat! Boat, now!" Jimmy yells. "Too late! She's gonna snag you! Boat!"
"Damn!, Jim, she's in the wads."
In the boat, beside the wads, I can peer down and see the line and leader all tangled in the roots. Frustrated . . . desperate . . . I plunge into the water and pull and lift on the line.
"No! No!, John. Do it from in here, in the boat. We can free it!"
It's hopeless. The line will not come free. In a last, desperate, effort, I wrap the line around my hands and haul with all my might. It comes free from the top roots, but there are others. I haul hard again.
"No! You've got her! That's her down there. See!" Jim shouts.
Deep in the blue-green water, at the base of a root wad, lies a shape.
"That her there, John. Lead her downstream. Don't let her have her head or she'll dash in and break you off. We can land her there, on that beach down below. See it? It's just right!"
I lead her gently downstream away from the wads. She swims sluggishly toward the large flat. Her weight is still so heavy that I can only watch line peel off the reel again. But this time she turns into the quiet water beside the flow, and as I tumble from the boat, I know that the end is very close. "Please don't let the know break now," I whisper. "It's been an hour and a half and a mile of river. How long can monofilament and a 10-weight three-piece last?" The truly large fish are usually lost with the leader at the tip-top.