Bo and Jud decided a good birthday present, for their Dad Jimmy, would be a day on the river. Neither Bo nor Jud had fly fished before, but wanted to give their Dad a trip to do something Jimmy loves to do. Mark and I met them at the ramp for an early morning start. I have been in the middle of several different bets while in the drifter. Usually it is something tangible, sometimes it funny and at times it is purely for the money. The guys filled us in on their bet for the day. Their Bet, on this day? The losers have to pay for the fiberglass replica of the winning fish. It was a simple and straight forward. And, as with all good bets, I wouldn't have to pay into it at all. But, the pressure was on for the guides and I quickly clarified the rules, as best I could without showing my hand. Length would win, so pretty much anything goes as far as species was concerned. With that we were off to our respective boats.
|A Different Look at the Sluice|
We had a limited amount of time before the two hour pulse began, so we made the most of the low water. Jimmy and Bo went with Mark and Jud took his spot in the front casting brace of my drifter. Two rods in this case are better than one, but Jud and I weren't worried. We started Jud on the basics of casting and then mending. We worked on mending some more and then back to casting. When we felt like it was time to go, the anchor came off the bottom and we started the drift into Hatchery Bratville for some real life practice of catching. Jimmy and Bo already had fish on before we got into a rhythm. But, Jud was quick to learn and soon he was setting the hook on a diving indicator. Then the sluice came and Jimmy popped a nice rainbow to take the lead.
Jud and I stayed on course and probed the creeks and back eddy's, looking for feeding carp and gar. Nothing in the creeks, except bluegill, were interested in the offerings. We worked on close quarters casting, then the sluice shut down and the water settled. We backed out into the current and started hunting. The plan was to hit the likely spots for large fish and win the bet. Simple and straight- forward. We floated and spotted some large fish. We saw one extremely large brown feeding, but couldn't get the monster to eat.
Then it happened for Jud. We were hunting a likely spot when a fish came to the fly for a look. Jud was just pulling the fly for the next cast when he saw the fish come for the moving fly. His excitement level elevated and we moved back, into a better position. Jud used the skills he had worked on earlier and dropped the fly into a pocket. The fly didn't have time to settle and the fish came back, then it ate hard. Casting to a pocket can be like a good serve in tennis, but when the fish eats, the game changes to more like a fullback crashing the line. Jud worked hard not to come apart at the seams while he was fighting his first nice brown trout. The fish didn't come willingly, but eventually the fish made its way to the waiting net. Jud was on the board in a big way.
|Looking Back At You|
|A Nice Brown on Falling Water|
We continued on toward the designated lunch spot. The phone rang from the other boat and we announced the latest find, which confirmed the brown would take the lead by an inch. As usual I got to lunch about an hour late, but hey we were fishing. Mark prepared an excellent steak fajita lunch, while I re-rigged some rods. After lunch Jud and Bo switched boats and Jimmy continued his float at the head of the group. Bo was rested and ready to go. While the other guys shoved off and headed down river, we backed up and hit some more likely water.
|Raccoons Have Been Numerous Along the River|
Bo quickly proved he could launch a bug too and we went to the banks looking for moving water that might hold a large hungry trout. Bo picked up a few fish here and there, but the fish had settled in and apparently were waiting on the late evening hatch. The midges didn't come off like we sometimes see. However, there were several different spots of black caddis dancing on the way to the ramp. We went to some dries but the fish were mostly unresponsive to the caddis hatch. We had one more shot at a good hold. If the fish was there, if the fish was looking up, if the bug was the right selection and if all the other things lined up, Bo still had a chance to take the bet. We eased the drifter into the right spot, Bo made the right cast, the fish apparently liked the bug and came up for the take. The take was half-hearted and when Bo set the hook the fish was on for a few seconds and then did the sportsman's release. We went back to the spot, but the fish had been stuck and wasn't coming back for a second try.
The multi boat floats are a good way of Getting Out There. Larger groups fishing from drift boats, with a good lunch and lots of fun can be an excellent way of spending the day. Bo, Jimmy and Jud were a pleasure to fish with on this day and I look forward to seeing them again on the river.