I had a Deja Vu moment fishing yesterday. It was at the work pond and I was trying out some new fly patterns. I didn't have any action and the fish seemed shy and reluctant to even follow the fly. Then I saw movement in the water under a tree. It looked like a fish swirling. I cast right in the middle of the swirl and with in a second my line shot away from the bank and headed for deeper water. I yanked back putting the pressure of the 8wt against the fish. Line started stripping and the fish wasn't slowing down at all. This had to be a carp. I watched my reel spin and kept an eye on the line that was rapidly unraveling. In about 5 seconds this fish had almost taken me to my backing. Then the reel stopped. I thought maybe the fish came off but as I kept tension on the line and reeled in the slack I could tell the fish was coming towards me. I tried lifting the rod to bring the fish to the surface so I could get a good look at it. The fish would have none if it. It was bull dogging and keeping to the bottom. Then it bolted again stripping line and I knew this was going to be a fight. The fish kept doing patterns of coming close then running out to deeper water. The fish rolled and I saw its tailfin. It was the unmistakable tail of a catfish. I had caught a catfish last year at almost the exact same time. It was the same scenario too, I saw movement under the same tree cast the line out and the fish hit instantly. I couldn't tell if it was the same fish. This one seemed smaller. It sure had the same fight.
Then at the end I even had the same problem of how to land the fish. I didn't bring my net and there was a small cliff I had to lift the fish up on to. I was using 10lb line but I was still worried about the knot holding. This fish was heavy to just lift straight up. I tried a few times and my line kept getting wrapped around weeds and sticks on the bank. I eventually had a free space to pull the fish up. I grabbed the leader and POP my fly just came off. I thought maybe the hook bent but it was in perfect condition. I have no idea how the fly just came out. When I caught a cat last year I grabbed the fly and tried to pulling the fish up the bank then it shook its head and unhooked itself. I kicked myself for not bringing my net. I'm not sure it would have been big enough but it would have helped. I estimated the fish to be at least 5lbs.