Fetal Position Trout

by Mysticfish on March 12, 2012

Fetal Position Trout are so big, that they can leave you curled up and sucking your thumb, after they devastate you and escape. The incident is often accompanied by incoherent babbling, or in severe cases, the glassy eyed stare. One extreme case involved uncontrolled giggles. Have you ever experienced this phenomenon?  Spend enough time fly fishing big trout water, and you will likely experience this spectacle, or even find yourself afflicted.  I have seen it numerous times, and its not pretty.   I have also been afflicted and devastated on several occasions.

Future Devastation

Someday I will Devastate You

I recently witnessed such an event fly fishing a Montana River known to hold some large brown trout. There were three of us spread out working from hole to hole.  My buddy upstream landed a 19″ brown, like the FPT in training shown here.  Knowing the trout were active, should have put him on alert.  At the next hole, he rolled a Fetal Position Trout on his streamer.  It came to the top and showed its golden girth, before self-releasing and swimming away.  Brian  The guy actually threw a little tantrum and tossed his rod, before collapsing to the ground and assuming the position.  I talked him back up and got him fishing again, but he was just not the same.  We headed out after a few more heartless casts. Several beers later and 40 miles away from the spot, he realized that his cell phone had ejected from his pocket during the FPT episode.  That fish ruled him.

34" Kenai River Rainbow Alaska Fly Fishing

The Preferred Trout Position.

I have seen many anglers devastated by Kenai River rainbow trout.  Several years ago, I even experienced  two FPT moments on one trip. That day still haunts me.  This photo was taken after a tenuous battle lasting over 45 minutes.  My heart rate was off the charts at times.  Had we lost the fish, I would have been reduced to the Fetal Position Trout condition. Thankfully, we were able to get this fish into the Preferred Trout Position. 


  • http://www.cofisher.blogspot.com cofisher

    I’d go hang myself with fly line. As it is, the small fish I catch aren’t worth FPT moment.

    • http://mysticwaters.com Mysticfish

      I don’t mean to be heartless, but trying to picture that made me laugh. Picture the forensics team. “Judging by the manner of fly line strangulation, that fish had to have been at least 32″.

  • http://www.catching-shadows.com Rich Strolis

    Good stuff. Nothing more heartbreaking then a river demon coming unglued.

    • http://mysticwaters.com Mysticfish

      I know you’ve been there Rich, both as a guide and holding a rod. Keep fishing flies like your Ice Pick series and the big ones will play.

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