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One Last Cast

I like ending my day with a fish on the last cast - whether is has been a "banger of a day" or I have been on the struggle bus. Not everyone understands and I get that. For me at least, it ends any day on a high note no matter what the rest of the day was like. Had a tough day and are ready to throw in the towel? See if you can't catch just one more fish and end the day on a high note. Had a great day and covered a lot of ground? Catch one last fish or maybe one last really good fish and call it a day. I am a huge fan of ending the day on a high note. You look back on a day and often it is that last fish that sticks in your mind. It is the cherry on top of a good day and a bit of sunshine on a not so good day.

Last cast Brown Trout
An early April 2021 last cast Brown Trout from a Driftless stream in Wisconsin.

My favorite last cast story was an August day where I had been fishing all morning and having one hell of a day on hoppers. I had to meet up with my friend Ben at the Westby Rod and Gun Club to camp for the afternoon so I had to quit fishing before meeting up with him. Pretty much nothing else would have taken me off the stream. The only thing better than a "hopper eat" is hours full of hopper eats. A day with thirty or forty "hopper eats" is about the greatest thing ever. And at that, the highlight might have been a fish that broke me off on the hook set - on 3X tippet. I continued upstream and landed fish after fish, many of them quite nice fish. I got a last cast fish and left rising fish to meet Ben.

Not your typical Timber fish
This was the last cast fish of the story above - on a stream not much known for large, fat fish.

We got camp set up and headed to another stream. Since I had a good day in the books already so I mostly played guide. But I did make a cast - and landed the fish above on a Morrish Hopper cast a few inches from the undercut bank he was hiding under. I called it a day - a GREAT day!

West Fork Sports Club, Avalanche, WI
One last fish before it gets too dark to fish...

I love a last cast fish. It just seems to be the perfect wrapper on the day - a good memory for a poor day and a memorable way to put a topper on a great day. Now, to be sure there are some pitfalls with last cast fish. On a tough day, did things just start getting good and I quit too early? Who wants to quit fishing on a great day?! Almost always the decision to quit fishing is a matter of timing.

Driftless Brown Trout
Revisited the stream of the last cast story - one heck of a day ended on another last cast fish.

Anyone else a fan of that last cast fish? Or am I just nuts to quit? Do you have a good last cast story to share?

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