My Personal Best Tiger Trout

24 inch tiger seen with the "teal" fly line bracelet

24 inch tiger shown with the "teal" Fly Line Bracelet
On what seemed to be an average April Day I caught the Tiger Trout of my dreams. I’ve been very fortunate over the years to catch many good sized tigers, but never any of this caliber. I do not measure or weigh my fish but to put into perspective how large this guy was, he was over 2 feet long easily and 4-6 pounds in weight would be my guess, 5 would be a good happy medium. Pictures do not do him justice but he had good girth and extremely awesome length. He stole my heart, seriously. I’ve never seen such a big mouth and head on a tiger. He was the lake monster for sure, and was released happily ever after to be caught again. Tigers are ambush predators and they will seek cover (like all trout) and then attack their prey. This is why unless I see tigers cruising munching on nymphs, I like to cast large sculpins or wholly buggers into the shadows of lake debris such as logs or moss.

On this day I casted a black wooly bugger to the edge of a fallen log in the lake. Black seems to be the magic color for tiger fishing in my opinion. My line was about 50 ft off shore when he took my fly on about the 3rd strip. From the initial tug and dive I knew immediately it was a large trout and the adrenaline rush kicked in. As most of my fish stories go, I was balancing on a sketchy log and attempting to not fall in while bringing in this beast that was not getting in my hands without a fight. Most of the time I end up falling in, but this time I was lucky. As I got him in about 4 feet off shore he started wrapping around a fallen log and that’s when his size revealed itself in the surface of the water and I about had a heart attack, no joke. I could hear my heart beating. I almost lost him wrapping around that log on 5x tippet, but I threw my rod behind me, grabbed my fly line, and slowly started bringing him in. I would occasionally reach for him to try and grab him but he was trying to run and dive like crazy. I got him about 2 feet off the log I was now kneeling on and was able to get two hands on him and get him to shore safely. It was a feeling of relief, but also disbelief with how big this thing was.

I know what you’re thinking.. why didn’t you scoop him up with a net? I bring my net with me everywhere I go, but for some reason its always 50 yards behind me on the lake or river when I need it most. This was one of those times. Anyway, I got him in, took some pics and let him go to live his life. He truly was the Tiger of my dreams and I will never forget his beauty.

Thanks for reading, 

Bridget Fabel