Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



Reportedly Caught On A Fly Rod..

By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

"I was alone because it was so hot, it was like 100 degrees or something," explained local angeler Faron Hengst describing the day that landed him a place in the New Mexico Game and Fish record book. An avid fly-fisherman, Hengst has been fishing southwestern waters for about 30 years. On Tuesday June 17, Hengst decided to try his luck at Aztec's Tiger Pond. "It was around three o'clock, I was feeling like an idiot, 'cause it was so damn hot. I wasn't getting any hits, so I just decided to dead drift for a while before calling it a day...All of a sudden this sucker about jerked the pole out of my hand!" Hengst, described the sweaty 20-minute Wrestling match that followed saying, "At first, I had no idea what I had on the end of that line but it was big, I knew that..." Hengst said because he was only using an eight pound test-line (and a hand-tied Olive Wooly Bugger) he knew he would have to be patient to have any chance of landing the prize. "I actually saw him four times. Everytime I saw him he'd take-off like a shot!...he took me all the way out to the end of my backing four times."

Hengst finally landed what turned out to be a, 20 pound 32 inch 'Channel Cat', "He measured 18 inches around, I kid you not." Hengst just happened to have a hand-held fisherman's scale that has a built in measuring tape for just such occassions. Hengst took a few quick photos with his cell phone before releasing his hard-won prize back into the water, "I tried to get a selfie but he was so dang heavy, I couldn't quite manage it." Hengst firmly believes in catch-and-release saying that as exciting as hooking a monster-fish may be, it's just as satisfying to watch it swim away to live to fight another day.

Still astounded and curious Hengst called the New Mexico Game and Fish Department to report the monster catch. Hengst was informed that he had indeed smashed the record previously set at Fort Sumner with a 17 pound catfish. For his efforts Hengst recieved a NMGF Master Angeler's Award for the Biggest Catfish Caught on a Fly-Rod. "I swear I'm gonna frame that Wooly Bugger," Hengst declared. "I just wanna make one thing clear, this fish was pretty big, but obviously it's no where near as big as some they catch at like Elephant Butte on a trout line or with those big deep-sea tackle rigs, I'm just saying this is the biggest ever caught on a fly-rod."

Hengst plans to host a fly-fishing seminar in mid-September. The free two day class will be held at Tiger Pond and is open to anyone age 10 and up Participants must provide their own gear, Hengst reccomends an inexpensive "starter kit" for beginners. For more information call Faron Hengst at (505) 486-5727.


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