So, I have another ethics issue for you guys. Story first.
I got out this morning to fish for a little bit, and within half an hour, I had hooked and landed a really pretty 20" male brown.
Roughly two hours later, I spotted a couple of fish in what has become for me, a pretty popular hole. So, I proceeded to drift an egg fly through this lie, and after a few drifts, I felt a non-rock-like tug, so I set the hook, and quickly found that I had hooked into a big mean brown! Score +1!
So, the fight was on: first he tried swimming for deeper water, and I was able to curtail that. Next, it was upstream, which I was happy to let him do (within reason) so as to tire him out a little more quickly. Then, he decided that downstream was his best bet, and he was right, because just downstream of my position was a fast run of water! I knew I had to get him in quickly (as if I hadn't been trying before...), so I ran downstream ahead of him and managed to pull him onto a rock bed just short of the fast run of water!
It was a fight for the ages, and I actually had to use a little skill to manage the fight so as not to lose the fish. Score +2!
Then I saw, much to my chagrin, that I had in fact hooked his "chin" and not his mouth. Score -1000. Of course, I couldn't resist a picture of such a beautiful brown (see link
), but I can't help but feel as though I shouldn't be proud of this fish at all
I mean, this was a heck of a fish, who put up a heck of a fight, and I had to put up a heck of a fight to land him. And sure, the foul-hooking was completely unintentional
, and given the close proximity of the actual hook-set to his mouth, I really didn't have a clue until I landed him, but the fact remains that I didn't actually fool this fish. I cheated.
Now, I could just as easily have claimed none of the above, and no one would have known the difference, i.e. "I caught a great big brown because I'm a great fly-fisherman." However, it's a matter of respect for the sport (and a conscience) that forces me to say something.
Have any of you had similar experiences? What did you make of them? Am I crazy for being this conscientious about a fish I caught?
P.S. - Here's a link to my a Fall's worth of fish (and it's only the end of November). Fall Fishing '08