Tim has been on the drifter more than once and when the plans were made for this trip we would have one more angler aboard the ole' F/V Southeastern Fly. The last trip was mostly about rainbows but this trip would be different. This trip would be about the browns and the new guy. Kevin, the new guy, would take his place in the front brace and after a very short tutorial he would get into the groove almost immediately.Tim was first up and began bringing fish to the net. Kevin found his presentation and began to do the same. It seemed as though Kevin could almost call his fish and swapped between catching rainbows and browns. Fortunately Kevin settled into a brown trout groove or at least the browns settled into his presentation and we began our trip down the river.
Tim was in the rear brace and we slipped the drifter into some good water. Tim laid a nice cast to the bank and the fly settled at the end of the line. A short drift in slow water was next. Then Tim detected a strike and set the hook. The rod got a quick bend and the fish took off. Tim was doing everything right and this was to be another good fish for him. The fish didn't come to the top and kept digging. We had been here before and Tim remembered what to do... It wasn't long before he was gaining line and then the rod just had no pressure. The big fish had somehow slipped the fly and we were left with sad faces.
Tim handled the situation pretty well, better than I might handle it. Fortunately Kevin and I were there to make him feel better about losing the fish...a big fish... a fish that might have made the 20+ Club... it was a really nice fish that was lost....you know one of those fish. Tim was a good sport about all the jokes made at his expense. In Tim's defense though he didn't do anything wrong. The hookset was good, he stayed ahead of the fish and kept good and steady pressure. Sometimes they just come unbuttoned.
Kevin made the most of standing in the front brace. When nothing was happening it was Kevin who would hook up with a nice fish.Tim and the guy on the oars
With the current generation schedule the river will rise a little and fall quickly. The riverbed really doesn't fill up completely and the fish seem to be in the main current seams longer. Searching for moving water has been critical to success as the water level gets lower. Tim and Kevin were hunting the fish in slow moving water and most of the catching was coming along the edge of the seams.
Tim and I were watching Kevin really come to life. I have seen this before and saw it on Tim's very first trip in the drifter. It's fun to watch but it doesn't always happen. On this day Kevin would be in the zone. Kevin brought his second nice brown to the net and after the congratulations and hero shots, Tim and I changed our tune slightly. That tune went from encouragement to heckle Kevin just a little. There are many ways to slow the heckle and Kevin was about to discover one.
We had been floating behind another boat most of the day. For the last leg they stopped to fish one of the better pools. So we bounced to get some distance. We had clear river and Kevin was hitting some good spots when the other boat caught us again late in the float. Just as they got within good sight,Kevin set the hook one more time. Yep, Kevin was soon leading another brown to the waiting net. The other anglers who were floating along in the other boat were able to witness the entire episode. Kevin, the new guy, was able to slow the heckle with that fish... if only for a moment. This trip was definitely all about the browns and the new guy.
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