Sunday, April 1, 2012

Howard and Jo on the River

Nice Spring Day
Howard called a few weeks back and we found a date that worked for everyone. This trip we would take his cousin Jo. Howard and Jo have been fishing together since they were 14 or 15 years old and the banter started early. I did my best to stay out of it, but I just couldn't help myself. We had a great day of discussion, jokes and flinging flies to hungry trout. Before the day was over Jo would boat the largest brown he had ever caught, Howard would provide the right pattern for Jo's line and we would all endure the first hail storm of the year on the river.

Jo Hooked-Up
We started on nymphs and as soon as we saw the first rise, Howard was ready to go to dry flies. We put him on the dries and fished shallow water. Jo stayed on the Tutto and hooked up first. It happened kind of that way, but if you were there you might have seen something a bit different. We spotted a rising fish and Howard lined up, then timed the fish. He landed the fly within a foot or so of the fish at just about the right time. The fish was feeding in about a 4 foot zone and that dry was just floating into the zone. Then out of nowhere a big ole nymph came flying into the picture with a plop! The dry floated about another foot, while the nymph settled on the end of the line and turned the indicator. Both offerings inched toward the fish and then the indicator disappeared. Just like that Jo stole Howard's fish had another fish.

Howard Gets on the Board With a Nice Rainbow
We picked up a fish here and there along the way, then we entered a good stretch of river. It was still just a fish here and there. Jo sent a nymph right down one of the best runs. The drift was perfect, the depth was perfect, everything seemed perfect. The indicator never moved.  The next cast was in the trees. That Tutto was now out of reach as the line snapped. Howard made a fly suggestion that we had fished together before and he fishes regularly on some other rivers. I dug through the boxes and came up with the pattern, which was soon on Jo's line. He immediately boated a fish. We were in the game before but this bug turned the tide for the trip. 
Another Good Rainbow for the Duo
The weather was another part of the story for the day. The weather during the morning and early afternoon was dead-calm. Blue skies were the call, with very little wind. However, earlier in the week the Weather Channel Girl made it apparent the afternoon would be much, much different. She called for heavy thunderstorms, wind and hail. So, we all brought waders and were glad we did. But we will get to that later...
...and Another Nice Rainbow for Jo
Howard got on nymphs and soon both anglers were mending, drifting and catching. There are times when it becomes obvious it is just one guy's day. Today it would be Jo's Day. Several times Howard would make a great drift through a likely spot and then Jo would drift through and pick up the fish. Howard and I agreed he had several of those days, but today was just Jo's day.  
.....and Another Nice Rainbow for Howard
The Big Fish of the Trip
After Howard suggested we get Jo on a new pattern and he boated a decent rainbow, we kept at the mending and getting that "perfect drift". Jo's fly drifted into a likely place and the indicator took a slow dive. Sometimes a slow dive is an indication of a fly snagging the bottom. This slow dive was different, it was quicker than the current flow. After a quick nudge, Jo was setting the hook. The line came tight and the fish came straight to the boat. We decided the fish was small, but once the indicator dove it didn't come back to the top. The fish started chugging and went under the boat. I started turning the boat and the fish kept turning, making me wonder if I was doing the right thing. Finally after almost a full circle the fish came out from the boat and started upstream. Jo had the rod tip up and in the turn Howard tried to hook Jo's line and make him lose the fish Howard's line got tangled in Jo's line. Jo fought the fish and pulled Howard's line and his line through the guides. Then Howard's fly came to the top guide of Jo's rod and the fly just broke off. The hook-set must have been a good one because, through all this, the brown was still on and jugging upstream. We backed upstream with the fish as it was headed for a blow down.  Jo was on the rod and trying to hold the back back. Finally he turned the fish and the head came up, then the fish came to the net. We got the usual hero shots and revived the fish. After that we watched the bruiser give a big tail kick and it was gone. 
Sever Thunderstorm Warning!
The weather finally caught us. What started out as a clear day, quickly turned to overcast as the wind picked up. I have been through many of these storms and they usually move quick, but some storms set in and send us to the ramp. This storm was a slow moving system that brought with it lightening. We hunkered down for a while and the skies opened up. The rains came and the wind blew, along with the occasional lightening bolt. When the rain let up we moved on. The rains came back and brought the hail with them. Pea size hail is not too hard to endure, but when you add marble size, it sends everyone rowing for cover. We stopped again and waited out the second cell. Finally it passed too and the guys went back to fishing. We all know that rain can turn the fish on, but this time the feeding stopped. We decided that the hail put the fish down and finally rowed out the rest  of the way to the ramp. 
It was good to spend the day with two anglers who have spent most of their lives fishing and hunting together. They were easy to guide and in-spite of some unforeseen circumstances, took everything in stride. Hopefully, next time, Mother Nature and the Weather Channel Girl will give us good weather for an entire trip!


  1. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing the fun with us.

  2. Looks like a great day on the water!

  3. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.