The wife gave me a pass to go fishing today, so I took off work today around lunch and headed for the Clinch. Took along my closest friend and long time fishing buddy Scott (a.k.a. Uncle Scotty). We encountered a few sulphurs coming off, and some rising fish. I immediately started hooking up on an olive split case nymph, and Scott was into the fish on a sulphur thorax dun. Here he is with one of his best fish at right, somewhere in the 15 to 16" range. We continued to pick up some fish here and there on those two flies, and he offered to give me one of his dry flies he was using. I went back downstream to one of the runs that I had a large fish pull loose on earlier in the day to give the new fly a try. On the first drift I saw a large shadow float up from the bottom and sip my dry fly. I set the hook and immediately screamed for Scott to come help me. At the same time he was fighting a decent fish of his own, but he managed to take care of his and come help. After a 5 minute or so fight he slid the net under the massive brown and he barely fit in the net. We immediately let out a loud yell and high fived each other. This was by far the heaviest trout I have ever caught. We put the tape to him and he measured 19", but his girth was the most impressive. He had wide shoulders and was quite thick. I have put in lots of hours in search of such a fine specimen, and I finally managed to get him. I was using my 4-wt rod strung with 5-wt Wonderline and a 12' 6x fluorocarbon tippet. I was so nervous that he was going to break me off due to numerous runs toward a log jam downstream. I managed to keep him out of the woods though, and brought him into some slack water to finish off the battle. During his fight, he made a couple of amazing leaps clearly out of the water. As if the fight itself wasn't energizing enough, watching this beauty clear the water multiple times just helped to increase my heart rate. Just as exciting was watching him swim away after removing the hook and taking a few quick photos.
What a trip!