My passion for fishing started at a young age. My two younger brothers and I would go and cast at whatever would bite. The lake that our family cottage is on unfortunately does not have many fish, so we were excited when our dad said he had rented a spot on a beautiful nearby lake. Exploring new waters can be both gratifying and challenging. We didn’t know when we arrived, but that weekend would turn out to be more on the challenging side! 

After a few days of hard fishing and nothing to show for it, we started to get discouraged. It was our last day, and a storm was expected to be rolling in the next few hours. This was our last chance. Equipped with our rods and a paddle boat, we headed onto the water feeling a mix of hope and resignation.
There was a spot with a big rock that I was feeling good about, so I cast at it. As soon as my fly hit the water, I saw something move in the shadows. That’s when my youngest brother noticed that our fancy boat was riding very low. It turns out that we had been taking water for a little while. This was my last hope. I cast one last time while we tried to paddle our way back to camp. At that moment, my rod started to bend. This fish was bigger than I expected. After a minute or so fighting with the fish, we started hearing the thunder's low rumble and seeing a wall of rain make its way towards us from the other end of the lake. We needed to get the hell out of there and quick. In a move that was needed, yet heart breaking, I cut my line and let that beast get away.  With the paddle boat still filling with water, we struggled to make it budge. Thankfully, with the adrenaline kicking in we managed to get back before we sank or got hit by lightning. That fish still haunts me. I often think of it when I’m laying awake in bed. We seem to always remember the ones that got away...

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