I’m not the world’s greatest angler, by any stretch… but I’m not used to failure.

In this case, we had the camera rolling (for Cermele’s new Hook Shots episode, check it out) as a giant rainbow was sipping bugs off the surface in a part of the Colorado River where I reliably catch fish. I figured that was a done deal. I was prepared to hook that fish, turn and mug for the camera, and say something smug like, “and THAT’S why I only do one show a day, babe, I won’t do two…”

But, alas… I got schooled. Skunked. Whiffed. For the entire Field & Stream nation to see…

Being a man willing to admit that I am still mired in the learning curve (who isn’t?), I’m now asking for advice. What would you have done differently?

This fish is following a semi-systematic pattern… chowing down… but there’s a thick layer of scum in the target zone. I’d make an almost-perfect cast, and the dry fly would get gobbled up by a bubble of goo (hint: I don’t think I had the wrong pattern on)…

If I ripped the fly away and recast… the fish disappeared for 10 minutes. (Oh… we spent a good 30 minutes on this single fish, mixing flies, angles, and approaches). I’m not asking what I did wrong… apparently I did everything wrong. I’m asking what would be the right way to hook and land this fish. Watch the video… think hard.

For the person who gives me the best well-reasoned advice that I believe might actually have worked in this situation… I’ll give you a 9-foot 5-weight, Temple Fork Outfitters, Lefty Kreh Professional Series rod. Think carefully… I’ll admit I already have theories as to how I might win a rematch with this trout… to the extent you reaffirm them or convince me otherwise, you might just win. How’s that for “virtual” fly fishing?