Stop me if this story sounds familiar:
Your fishing trip is coming to an end. Maybe you’ve had a great day, or maybe you’re getting skunked, but either way, time is running out.
You start preparing to leave, straightening up the boat or gathering your gear on the shoreline. But there’s still an item of unfinished business to attend to.
It’s time for “one more cast.”
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Any serious angler (or spouse/fishing buddy) knows all too well the true meaning of “one more cast.” Truthfully, it’s code for “one more fish,” which means it could really be one more cast, or it could be 50.
I’m pretty liberal about “one last cast” (shocker, right?). After all, most good fishing spots require a lot of time and effort to get to, so unless you have a pressing appointment, I don’t see any harm in milking it for a few extra minutes (or 20).
Experience also tells me that fishing magic often occurs in the eleventh hour. On shows like Jeremy Wade’s “River Monsters,” the host often says some of the best catches come during the last day — or even the last hour — of filming. Would he have stayed out as long if he had caught the beast earlier? Probably not, but I do think there’s a certain karma that rewards anglers who put in maximum effort.
Two recent examples happened for me on the same day. We met some friends in the Hagerman Valley to camp, fish and enjoy the area’s hot springs. Early in the morning, my buddy Skyler and I went out to do some “big kid” fishing on the Snake River. We were after panfish, and we had trouble hooking anything bigger than 6 inches.
But we decided to stick it out for an extra 15 minutes, and a lunker swam into range. I sight-casted my bait right in front of him and BOOM! Mission accomplished.
After breakfast, we headed to the nearby hatchery ponds to do some fishing with Skyler’s three young children. The kids had a good time catching 12-inch stocked trout, but I saw a real monster swimming around to our left. As we started to gather the gear, I tossed a worm and Power Bait combo in his general direction and let it sit.
Ten minutes later, the cars were loaded and we were ready to head to the pool. But 7-year-old Chloe lingered on the dock, waiting for me to reel in the last cast of the day.
Suddenly, the line started moving sideways, and I set the hook on something heavy. It was the big one! With Chloe’s help, we hauled a huge 5-pound trout onto the dock.
One more cast indeed!
Of course, the last cast doesn’t always end in glory. Years ago, I was sight-fishing a stubborn bass on the Snake River, and it was nothing doing. Anxious to hit the road, my wife, Anna, insisted I hand her the pole.
She caught that fish on her first cast, and she’s never let me hear the end of it.
Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories at outdoors @idahostatesman.com.