Fighting Fish
(A writing to Dewey Gillespie from a very respected friend AJH)

Beresford Fancy

It is surprising how fighting fish differ in their manner of attacking the fly and in the times at which they hit. 

            The bass will hit at any time he pleases. “As moody as a Prima Donna,” says one expert,

“As wary as a lynx, and fighting to the last gasp is the true black bass.” He has a habit of mumbling the fly, that is running with the fly in front of his mouth, so that if you try to set the hook, you’ll pull it right out.  Once this happens to a bass, he rarely hits again.

            But with the Lordly Atlantic salmon it’s a different story.  The best time to fish for him is in the early morning or evening.  He hits quite hard to the fly and sucks it down, then the fun begins.  When you have twelve pounds of mad salmon at the end of your line, there’s no time to think of anything else.  One big fellow that was hooked by W.F. “Budd” Kitchen on the Northwest Miramichi River, had his eye set on Heath Steele Mines and seemed quite determined to reach it, when suddenly he turned about and came racing back for something he had forgotten.

You have to work fast with a full-grown muskellunge too.  He hits the bait as soon as it strikes the water, and his thirty to sixty pounds hit hard.  Once you hook a muskellunge it takes between twenty to thirty minutes to end the argument.

            All three of these fish, but particularly the Atlantic salmon, the King of Fish, have a way of shooting out of the water and shaking themselves so that they often rip the hook out of their mouths.

The big salmon that “Budd” Kitchen hooked into came to the scales at twenty-two pounds.  The salmon was released and swam away with increasing vigor.