Tight lines . . . . Dale :)
Smallmouth for me, though maybe I should have voted for the channel catfish that took off with my pole. I was about to leave, so I set it down against a bush. I had caught another and it was on a stringer tied to the roots. As I bent over to untie the stringer, another one hit the bait, causing the pole to launch right off my back. I stood up and saw the pole under the water. Waded in after it, but the fish made another lunge and it was gone. Ran back to my car where I had another pole and threw my wet shoes and in the trunk. I tried to snag it unsuccessfully by casting around for an hour.
When I gave up, I went to get my other fish and found the stringer had come loose and it had swam away. I was pretty ticked off at myself, but not as ticked as when I found my keys were missing. I ended up walking barefoot to a gas station a half a mile away, waiting for my dad to get home after his night shift ended and having him drive for an hour to come pick me up. We had to come back the next day to get my car. The only lucky thing about that day was I didn't have to call a locksmith. It turned out I had dropped them on the trail where the park ranger found them instead of locking them in the trunk.
and a 22" bow
on a 4wt in a river a few weeks back that both put up great fights. The 20" ran me right into my backing almost immediately, the 22" didn't but leaped in spectacular fashion and ran me up and down the run for about 10 minutes.
Other contenders would be the 26" walleye I caught on the fly,
a river dwelling carp I caught on a 3wt, every bluefish I ever caught, a few incidental tiger musky I caught on a light action rod while fishing for bass,
or any of the smallies over 16" that I've caught.
It's hard to pick just one really.
Of course I voted other because Sturgeon fight harder than ANY fish in Idaho. For my best fight I caught a Sturgeon in the 7 foot range with a 6.5 foot trout rod. The Reel was a Mitchell 400 spinning reel with 30 pound test. I caught this fish in my inflatable pontoon. This fish tried to wrap my legs in the line. It tried to land on my jumping. This fish jumped 7 times and threw everything at me. It was epic. Ron
Here is the pic and video.
Amen brother. Love the Kamloop The Cutts at Henry's however have straightened many a hooks and I am not talking little hooks.
I had a rather large Rainbow at Strawberry that fought amazingly long and hard.
CARP. Big 30+" carp on a 6 wt rod in the river.
honorable mention goes to big smallmouth, steelhead within spitting distance of salt, and sturg gotta be in the mix somewhere.
Those are probably the best, but as we all know... every fish we get on the line is an awesome experience!