Chapin's Believe It or Not!

One of the highlights of the Outpost area is the fishing.  People come from all over and spend thousands of dollars to fly in to fishing camps near us. It is the primary industry of the region.  One of my best fishing stories comes from a time we camped north of Heafur Lake on the Flindt River. But be warned this is a fish story, so you have to choose what you are going to believe.

We had gotten into the campsite early, and after lunch a bunch of people began to fish.  Well, we got a few walleye, but not as many as we had hoped, and much to our annoyance, a few of us were getting lures stolen by some mysterious creature from the icy depths.  I had lost a couple of my best lures, and Kyle Dawson,  the most dedicated fisherman in the section, had lost at least one as well.

At this point one of the guys was using my rod, so I borrowed someone elseís to take a few casts. I didnít notice that the drag was set to its maximum looseness. Well, after a few casts I got a bite.  I tried reeling in, but since the drag was so loose the fish on my line just took off swimming in the other direction.  I reeled in as fast as I could, but every few seconds the fish would surge in the other direction, and the line would buzz out after it.  I was afraid Iíd run out of line. 

This went on for what seemed like a long time, and pretty soon everyone gathered around.  We could see that this was no ordinary sized fish.  Eventually it began to tire, and I got it near shore.  It was a monster of a pike.  I knew there was no way I could land it by myself, so I gave Kyle my Leatherman knife and sent him in after the beast.  Kyle went after it and was able to heave it up on shore, then he stabbed it between the eyes before it could make an escape.  (Kyle is a pretty brutal guy.) 

But thatís not the end of the story.  Looking down at the monster beastie, I noticed that the lure I was using was not even in the fishís mouth.  Instead, my lure was caught to fishing line coming out of its mouth.  Looking inside its jaws, we saw the Mepps lure Kyle had lost half an hour before.  My lure had simply snagged the broken line.

Anyway, we took out a measuring tape and found out the fish was 39 inches long.  We all got our pictures taken with it, then Ben Pomeroy butchered it up for dinner.

What makes the story even more bizarre is that a couple weeks later on the Collins River, Kyle and I went fishing together again.  He lost his Mepps again to a pike, which I then caught a few minutes later with his lure still in its mouth. He just couldnít lose that Mepps no matter how much he tried.

            Dave Chapin


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