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Went fishin with Scudly

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Saturday morning at zero dark thirty Mark (scudly) and I hit the streams of Southwestern Wisconsin. Mark being my fishing guest I let him have every hole first. He started out the morning with a sweet brown. We fished until 10am and Mark's trout count was up to approximately 35.


Pitch dark plays heck with digital camera. Mark went out on his own on Sunday.

****Ask Mark about "Lightning"*****

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Here is my story:

A Bolt of Lightning

My buddy Len told me about a female brown trout he estimates to be ~30” and likely 10-12 lbs. Many would find it hard to believe that a stream trout of this size exists in southwestern Wisconsin. However, if you know Len, he does not mess around when it comes to big trout. Len and I fished the day before and I caught this chunky 20” brown on a crawler out of the now infamous pool. This fish alone made my weekend. Nice and chunky. We landed this guy in under one minute.



Len did a great job landing the fish in his enormous net. Len and I proceeded to other local favorite streams. Len said I caught >35 before 9:30 am. To be honest, I lost track, I was having so much fun. It was too easy, like catching trout every single cast.

After catching the beautiful chunky 20” brown, I knew this pool was special. I had to come back again to give this spot another try. As we parted on Saturday, Len gave me his old net which is roughly two-thirds the size of his new net. I figured this was the last I’d see of Len this year. The net said it all. In return I swapped Len with a handful of #9 PMD silver Panther Martins, Len’s favorite. I called Len later that afternoon and was hoping he could meet me again on Sunday however Len talked to his wife Barb who’s first question was: “Did Mark catch a big fish?” Len could not lie. The only advice Len gave was to go to Walmart and buy a heavy pole with a reel rigged with 20lb line. Looking back, I should have followed his instructions to a tee.

She hit Sunday morning like a bolt of lightning at 6:30 am. WHAM!!! The trout instantly bent my rod in half and my reel began to scream. Zip, zip, zip more line peeling out. This fish was hauling [PoorWordUsage] so far however I maintained pressure and gained on her now and then. Out went more line. I was losing her. She was now 30 feet upstream and zigzagging back and forth around the pool. I was sick to my stomach. My heart was pounding so loud I could hear it in my head. I began to pray. In the middle of The Lord’s Prayer more line peeled out. The big brown trout was doing constant violent head shakes trying to remove the hook. She was not happy with the situation she was in. I felt nauseous yet slightly optimistic at the same time. I kept thinking – I can do this, maintain pressure. I had the fish on for over a minute now so I obviously had a good hook set.

This fish felt more than twice as strong as the 20” trout caught the morning before. Never had I experienced such a strong trout peel out my 10 lb braided line like this. Losing more line I had no choice but to click my drag one notch tighter. The trout made a torpedo run from the left side pool to the far right and for some odd reason swam up on the rocks at far edge of shore doing its best to tuck under a rock. The fish seem wedged there. I maintained light pressure. The fish and I were at a standstill. The giant was belly up on rocks on the opposite side of the shore. I could see her gigantic dorsal fin and tail fin flapping around. What a monster. This trout was broad and had the figure of a giant northern pike, yet from a distance I could see dime sized crisp brown spots.

What happened next was devastating. The fish appeared to be taking a breather beached on the rocks on the opposite side. I thought to myself, what should I do? Should I let out slack and hope she runs out back into the center of the pool? However, I was worried she would wrap around a rock and cut the line. I applied pressure. The big brown did a quick 90 degree turn and POP, out went the line. That did just not happen, did it? I sunk to my knees on the soft mud in devastation. I was trembling, ready to puke from the adrenaline this fish gave me and the loss of her.

For sure, she was a trout of a lifetime. Len said he has been trying for the gigantic trout over 30 times now that lives in this now infamous pool. Len hooked her with a Panther Martin last fall. Len’s friend Joe hooked her this spring on a crawler. From conversations it appears I had her on the longest. At the very least, I had hooked the biggest trout of my life and I fought her and she won, at least this fight. Until next summer…

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Thanks for sharing the story, Mark. Something tells me that you'll be back to that same pool! Nice 20 incher. What I love about brownies is their unique spot patterns. Every fish is so different.

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Scudly, we should get together sometime, I would love to photograph some of your ventures! shoot me an email borg0196 at adamborgstahldotcom

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Scudly, we should get together sometime, I would love to photograph some of your ventures! shoot me an email borg0196 at adamborgstahldotcom

you are pretty good with a camera.

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