Curtis and I talked on the phone a few weeks before the trip. Our discussion? It was about rain and the times Curtis has been on the drifter. On their last float we had a big rain event the day before and spent the day chasing clean water in a torrential downpour. There have been several other trips including the time Curtis brought his bride along and while I was running the shuttle they were drenched by a small thunderstorm that came and sat on the gravel bar where we would launch. That was a tough day but a good day.This time, this time the weather, the fish and the float were on their side. We slipped away from the same gravel bar as the first trip. We caught the current and with lingering fog we floated on falling water. Jonas had practiced his casting a little the previous day and he was dialed in quickly. He remembered the mend and we began working on the reach cast to settle the fly in a quicker fashion, before it even touched down on the water. The adjustment paid off almost right away and would pay big dividends for Jonas later in the day.
Curtis is a fishy guy and knows about getting the right drift. He began pulling the larger fish to the net in each section we entered. He dropped his fly in good water all day long. Good drifts and solid hooksets where his from the first ten minutes of the float.
Jonas was the first to strike the big fish. The rainbow took the fly off some structure with a flow that lead to a dead pool. The bigger rainbow ate and Jonas played it perfectly throughout the several runs up and down the side of the boat. A hero shot and some wet shots were gathered before we turned the rainbow loose to eat again. The fish was just outside the 20+ Club but still a worthy opponent for this early morning float.
We drifted into some good water, then just after we passed one of my favorite blowdowns a huge brown rolled on a small rainbow. The brown was on top of the water for a short time and we saw almost the entire incident. We would go back and try to entice the brown out again, but it wouldn't come out to play. The fish must have been full after the quick meal. Going back to the scene of the crime did time the float perfectly for what was to come.
Curtis was picking apart some really good water. He set the hook on what we thought was a decent fish and it was giving his 4 wt a workout. Curtis stayed in front of the fish throughout the tug of war. The fish finally relented and we slipped the net into the water. One more quick burst and then it came to the net for good and Curtis made the 20+ Club, not to mention winning the boat bet of the longest fish in the process.
We floated along hitting all the likely spots. Adjusting the flies and fishing the different structure. Even though Jonas had the best seat and was doing everything right he couldn't top his nice rainbow brought to hand earlier in the day. The banter wore-on as the miles passed slowly. We finally rowed to the last blowdown. Jonas wound up his cast and dropped the fly in a good flow. The fish took and after a quick fight it tossed the hook. Jonas would have to wait until next time to grab the biggest fish and the boat bet. The rain held off until I arrived back home. Both of my anglers stuck some good fish and both lost a good fish or two as well. No rain, big fish, smiling faces and a good day on the river... Can't wait to do it again guys.