Howard has been fishing with me for several years, probably many more than either of us would like to admit. There was an evening several years ago that we had a disagreement about a fish that should be in the Southeastern Fly 20+ Club. That fish was actually just about a 1/2" short or so. He caught it on a dry fly which is supposed to add length. But, well, it wasn't quite 20" so that fish didn't make it on the tape, so that fish didn't make it into the club.
Fast forward to several more trips down Middle Tennessee rivers and more hours on the water, we returned to a stingy river. On this day there were some tight-lipped fish, at least for a while.
We got on the water early and began sight fishing. With super-clear water we were looking for our stealth but the fish were on to us more times than not. We tossed a lot of stuff and could not find our consistency.
We spent the morning staying just ahead of the traffic and playing defense with other watercraft when we came to the better holes, runs and shoals. We were seeing some friends along the way which was making for a nice day. We were on nymphs and fishing deep in a slow pool. With a blowdown coming on the outside of a slight bend, Howard was in a perfect position to get a clean presentation. He flipped the right mend and the fly settled into a slow drift. Then the fish ate and Howard came tight. The fish made a nice bend in the rod and the fight began. Watercraft began to stack up behind us as he stayed with the fish and I tried to keep the boat in the best position. There was a nice audience as Howard brought the nice bow to the net. It was good to see such a nice fish, especially with people watching.
We snapped a couple photos and taped the rainbow before reviving it, then released the fish to catch another day. This fish would make the club, but I still caught grief about that other fish, so many trips ago. After a slow day Howard put the icing on what little cake we were able to find. Good work Howard and I am looking forward to the next time we can get our schedules to line up!
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