Monday, September 5, 2011

James and Matt

A Great Father Son Trip
James has been booking me for a few years now. Everytime he calls and we get out  there, the day is memorable. With Tropical Storm/Depression/Former Hurricane Lee approaching, James and I were in contact via email late into the night before we were to launch.

James, it looks like the rain could be in a little earlier than mid afternoon. If that is a problem we can reschedule if needed, if not I am ready to go for tomorrow. Thanks David

I'm ok with a little rain if you are.   See you in the morning.  - James
With that the trip was set and on this day the goal was to teach his son Matt to fly fish. So we loaded up rods, flies, rain gear and Doritos, then headed to the river. Father son trips are some cool trips and it is always fun to watch how families interact. James is an accomplished angler, who is calm and consistent. Matt is a polite young man who brought enthusiasm and an ability to listen. We launched the drifter among the canoes, kayaks, anglers and other assorted watercraft, then we hit the river.
The Only Sunlight of the Day
James hooked up real early in the trip and we began to work with Matt. Matt was quick to learn and soon he was launching the 3 weight a far enough distance to help calm even the spooky fish.  We worked on mending and after a few tips Matt moved from beginner to experienced mender as quick as anyone I have seen on the drifter. We weaved in and out of traffic and when we found a clear stretch of river Matt hooked up.
We Like These....
Like I said "Matt Hooked Up"
 Matt set the hook and before we knew it he was learning to fight a fresh stocker rainbow. He played the fish under the watchful eye of his Dad and me. Soon the fish was in the net and the high-fives followed, along with the usual hero shots. After that we were back to fishing and Matt hooked up again and then again and again. He was on his game and the trip was going pretty much as planned.
Matt's First Fish
A Nice Brown for James
We kept fishing nymphs and trying just a few patterns that we thought might work. The action was pretty good but everything had to be just right. The fish were not just jumping in the boat, however the right fly, with the right drift would produce a strike.  We entered a pool that has been known to produce nice fish in years past. James sent a nymph right down a seam and the indicator went under. We both thought it was a snag, until the snag started swimming across the river. (just in case someone might be wondering or asks you in the future- snags don't usually swim across a river they usually swim upstream). As the fish crossed the river, James began gaining control of some line and we  soon had the first brown of the day in the boat. The score? Drifter 1 - Browns 0.
That is Matt.....again

Settin on G - Waitin on O
Usually we have shore lunches such as fillet mignon, cedar plank grilled salmon or Asian chops. On this day lunch was burgers, yep grilled burgers, cooked just right with all the accoutrement's. We were racing the weather and we knew it,. So burgers fit right in with the Weather Channel predictions and the race against the storms. We were back in the drifter for the second leg of the trip.
Getting Comfortable
Scenes From Summertime
Earlier I said James is an accomplished angler. He is no stranger to our style of nymph fishing and has the patience it takes for those long, sometimes mind numbing drifts. We entered a good stretch of water and James was fishing long a shelf. We were ducking under the over hanging trees as we settled the drifter in behind the nymph. And that is when the indicator took a big dive. There was no question it was a fish, and as soon as it took the fly, the fish headed to the bottom. When James put the pressure on the fish it went for the snags. Then  the fish came out to the boat for cover. We were trying to keep it from one snag when we floated over another. The fish went for that snag and that is where the 5x came in handy. The fish eventually decided the boat was a good place to be and came up to the top. It was a beautiful brown trout. James got the head up and the fish was in the net. He did a great job controlling the fish's head and moving the fish in and out of structure with a nudge here and pull there. The reward? The largest brown James has ever caught...
Now That is a Brown!
So as the afternoon wore on we started shoal hopping. The ramp was still miles away and the storm was pushing. Matt had several rainbows under his belt but hadn't caught a brown. We went through the usual after lunch doldrums when everyone is hoping for a nap, but knows there are still fish to be caught. Matt was still working on his cast and went to the Lefty Kreh
An Angler and his Ghillie
Matt began getting accurate casts and great mends. He also began to read the water. He was putting the fly in the right spot, making the right mends, then he would settle in and wait for the fly to do the rest. We missed a couple fish, had a fish or two on the line which escaped and then it happened. The brown took off with the fly and the indicator followed and with subtle encouragement and with shouts of set, set-set, Matt, who had already set the hook, was soon into a good fight. The fish ran through some vegetation and quickly doubled the bend in the rod. Using some skills he learned earlier in the day, Matt played the fish to the net. Matt had another "first" to add to his list. With that we finished our run to the takeout as the rain began to get heavier and the clouds darker. We made the right call and beat the storm. The decision was tough the night before, trip was touch and go a couple times ,but sometimes Getting Out There is more important than what might happen.
Angler Hooked, Fish Released...

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