This one has been a long time coming. Donnie has been on the F/V Southeastern Fly several times over the past few years and each time he mentions the 20+ Club and how this might be the day. We were on the river and in the flow before we knew it. The drift boat was floating along and Donnie was producing some excellent presentations.
He picked up a nice rainbow in the first several minutes and several other fish. Then we got into a fair number of good brown trout, some of which were very nice fish, but not the exact size we were looking for on this day. His Orvis Clearwater (which used to be mine) was bent more often than I thought it was going to be...and I offered to give him the money back for the rod. He declined.
Then Donnie dropped the fly right in the feeding lane. Feeding lanes are important for sure and he was hitting them a high percentage of the day. It wasn't long before Donnie connected with a strong hookset. The fish started to the bottom and began head shakes. When the fish flashed it made the guy on the bench (me) get up and start helping in the fight. As I moved the boat around the river, Donnie kept up the "good fight". It seemed to last well into the evening but in reality it was just a few minutes. At the end of the fight the fish was in the net. Mission accomplished.
All fish are measured if the angler is going to enter the 20+ Club and this one made the cut. Donnie did absolutely everything right on this fish. Fly in the feeding lane, check. Proper mend, check. Hookset at exactly the right time, check. Fight the fish and keep the rod tip at the correct angle, yep! So with all that, Donnie, nice work and welcome to the 20+ Club! Oh and I want my darn rod back.
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