Day 42 into the Texas Hill Country Mixed Bag (THCMB) contest and a catfish has me a bit shell shocked. Sometimes even when you win a fight it can leave you a bit what-the-hell-just-happened dazed. Today was no exception.

I started out at a not-so top secret location. While I have been made privy to the location (plus or minus a mile in accordance with THCMB rules) anyone looking at the required fish submission info will learn its locatin. Plus, once you name a place a ‘secret location’- it never is again; thanks Dave! But the contest really is about learning/sharing new locations so mission accomplished;you’re welcome Brandon!

Anyways, I had my usual line up of flies to assault. For the naysayers I did say flies, ie plural. But yes, the flying cat was the first thing I tied on. I would admit it would feel like cheating if the flying cat wasn’t tied by me- but I tie my own now. So, for anyone who wants to pick on me for always using it as my go-to fly, all I can say is check the leader board. And if Jimmy cracks corn and nobody cares- why are we still talking at it?


But again, I digress. The chaos part came into this when I cast near a really tree-root-saturated area. Right next to the bank I landed it really good. I let the fly sink as per Standard Operating Procedure and then twitch… twitch… BANG!

This fish and I did a waltz in the pool. I think it charged me in my float tube once just to spite me. But that wasn’t the slap in the face. Remember the rooty bank? Well, a waltz wasn’t the only dance on this cat’s punch card. He let me know this by using every limb as a may pole.

At one point I found myself using a flipper to foot-lift a root just to untangle all the line he drug out. Yet at another I thought I lost him because tension gave on the line. Slamming back taunt- my fears were put aside as more tangled line became undone. How I landed him I still don’t know- because here is the real shocker…

He was foul hooked in the face! Doesn’t matter it still counts!

It was by far the most all around awkward catch I’ve had to date. And for only fly fishing for a year that doesn’t say much, but it was still weird. In the end I won and got my photo op- even though I’m still slightly dizzy.

At the time of fish submission this ups me to second place and only 5 points off the leader! Go me!

See you on the high ground,

Today’s topic of D-Day plus 42 (D+42) is a deviation of the Everyday in May challenge. For more info click here. For all AirborneAngler Everyday in May posts click here.