I am walking through the Maine woods in summer with a fly rod in hand and I come across a small brook that leads into a little pond. I reach into my bag and take out a size 14-muddler minnow and tie it on to my leader and roll cast it onto the shimmering pool. Almost immediately a two-pound brook trout attacks the fly then the fish takes off with the fly in its mouth. The fight that it put up felt like a never-ending struggle. I kept my rod tip up letting out and reeling in line to tire out the fish. When I saw it jump I knew I’d hooked a brookie. I landed the most beautiful brook trout I had ever caught in Maine. I could not keep it. Not because of the law but because the fish was so magnificent and I could not kill something that beautiful. I also remembered what my Pepere said, “A big fish will lay a lot of eggs.” So I let the fish go into the pool.

With grace, the magnificent fish propelled itself through the water until he was no longer in sight. After that I kept on fishing and I caught two more brookies, each half the size. But it was almost dark and I needed to bring two home to my grandmother. She cooks them a special way that I love. She puts it on tinfoil and stuffs it with onions, carrots, butter and parsley and rolls it up and grills it.

So I started back home thinking about the brook and the pond. When I got home I told my Pepere what happen. He was surprised by my description of the size and the fight in the fish and I showed him the torn up fly. After supper I went to my room and unpacked my bag, turned on the TV and laid down on my bed. My Pepere came in and asked if I wanted to go to a pond that his friend owns. I said, “Yes!”

The next day I packed my fishing rods and tackle into the truck. The ride was about one hour, so I slept most of the way. When I awoke, it was raining hard but that does not stop a determined fisherman. I took out my spin casting rod and put a fat juicy worm on the end of my hook and a bobber and cast the bait into the middle of the pond and felt one mighty tug. My line was being ripped out yard after yard so I tightened my drag and tried to hold on while the fish was running back and forth and from side to side. By the way it fought I knew immediately what type of fish it was. A huge splash and a huge rainbow trout was thrashing his head side to side. By then it was pouring but that made the struggle more difficult because of the wind. After 20 minutes of tugging back and forth I overcame this huge beast and landed a monster. It weighed a whopping nine pounds. It was a keeper.

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