"Don't Move!" I told Shea. From my vantage point I could see a large tail and half of a big fish just near the bank. Shea was almost right on top of it and the tall grass was blocking his view. I peeked around the grass to get a better look. There lying just inches off the shore was one of the biggest bass I have ever seen. My rod was already rigged and I hurried to get a cast in before the fish spooked. My first cast landed just above the fish and didn't sink. I thought for sure the fish was going to take off. It didn't seem fazed. I slowly lifted the fly and made a second cast just off to the side of the fish. At first the fish showed no interest then just as the fly settled on the bottom the fish turned and slowly swam towards the fly. I could see everything, my fly, the fish and then the take. I set the hook with authority and the fish headed for deeper water. Shea and I were in disbelief. Sure you see big fish all the time but how often do you catch them and even if you're lucky enough to hook them will they stay on? The fish started to thrash and show its true size. It verified that indeed it was the biggest bass I have ever hooked with a fly. The fish shook its head and its mouth looked like it could swallow a softball with room to spare. I didn't have a net and I slid down the bank to find a good place to land the fish. The fish came close and I made a grab for my leader. The bass made another good run and I was worried it was going to snap my rod. I regained control and brought the fish over again. This time the fish brought its head up slowly and I quickly grabbed the fishes lower lip. The mouth was too big to lip with my thumb. I basically put all of my fingers in the beast's mouth and made a fist.
The fish measured almost exactly 22inches and had some serious battle scars. I wish I took more pics of the fish but I was worried about over stressing it. It's a fish I'll never forget.