put up a hell of a fight


Senior Member
Hello, everybody.

This is quoted from the short story, 'Call me if you need me' which is written by Raymond Carver.

<"This is a good time of the year for them. I haven't caught any today, but last Sunday I caught four, about fifteen inches long. Best eating fish in the world, and they put up a hell of a fight. Fellows out in the boats have caught some today, but so far I haven't done anything.>

He is talking about trout fishing.
I know the dictionary definition of the phrase 'put up a fight', but don't understand the meaning of it in this context.
Is he saying that trouts are wild and fierce, so it is difficult to catch them?
Waiting for your help. :)
  • morzh

    "To put up a hell of a fight" is a stable expression meaning that someone fought fiersely, real long and real hard.


    Senior Member
    English - American
    Trout are fished for using long, flexible rods which gives the fish about a 20:1 leverage advantage. This lets a two-pound fish "put up a hell of a fight" against a 200 pound man. The man can't pull too hard or the rod or line will break. The man can never rest or the trout will shake the hook loose and escape.


    As a child I was fishing for small river perches. They were the size of a kirby cucumber, but they certainly put up a hell of a fight. The rod would arch.
    Then, a catfish would never put up any fight. And I think, when it was pulled out of water, I saw it smile.
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