Sunday, September 7, 2014

James and John on the River

As they were trying to decide who would get the front casting brace in the drifter, John said to James "you take the front seat because you are getting ready for that tournament." That got my attention because there is one tournament that happens every year about this time and it is the Jackson Hole One Fly . That's when James confirmed my thoughts and said he wanted to work on some different techniques. We quickly came up with a list of options and then went to work. The regular readers of this report already know that one technique was the mend. We worked on a few other things as well.
John was hooked up first and brought the first brookie to the boat and then into the net. James wasn't far behind and picked up a nice rainbow. The skunk was off before we were 20' from the ramp. But we had a long way to go and only 3/4 of a day to get there. So with that we moved downstream. The guys casts were both good in slightly windy conditions. 
James was prepared for the day. He brought a close friend, a couple good rods, some flies and didn't forget premium cigars. When he offered us one I said I would smoke one if he brought a fish over 18" to the net. We were floating a particularly good stretch of river when a brown slammed James' fly. After a short fight James brought the brown to the net. John took a couple photos, we lit a fine cigar, the end...

OK, it wasn't the end. It wasn't the end at all. They had both caught good numbers on nymphs including a slam each. We moved both anglers to some top water offerings and decided to take our chances with bigger fish. We worked hard on top water action and soon found there were a fair number of fish looking up. John got dialed in on the new presentation real quick and caught some nice browns as well as a brightly colored rainbow. Both anglers were quick on the strike and had their slam on top too.

After John brought the nice rainbow to the net, while still enjoying his cigar, we fished a bit longer and then "made a move" to what has been some very productive water. John was quick to bring another fish to the net with a nice cast and an even better hook set.  Then we moved a bit further toward the ramp and into a piece of water that holds some of the biggest fish in the river... 
James tossed the fly in a small slot and it was only a few seconds before a fish came seemingly off the bank to kill the fly. James set the hook and began talking about how the fish didn't feel all that big. John and I both began to give him a "different perspective" on the size of this fish and fish in general. James played the fish perfectly on his Winston rod and the fish began the usual runs and twists while trying to rub the fly on the bottom. James got the head of the fish up and then into the net. 
Darkness began to set in and that darkness moved us toward the ramp. The oars dipped into the water as they pushed the drifter along. It was a little quiet as we all began to reflect on what was an outstanding day. There were a lot of things accomplished on this trip. One angler had his last "tune-up" before getting on a plane to head West and the other enjoyed a casual day learning more about fly fishing, even though he knows a lot more than he was letting on.  I was lucky enough to spend the day on the river with a couple cool anglers.

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