We caught a heavy release of cold and clear water. Clear water, that's my favorite. Clear water gives me the best chance of seeing the most of the river bottom. With good glasses an angler can see the contours of the gravel bars and shoals as well as the large rocks and blowdowns that litter the river bottom. Good glasses are a must. With a cloudy sky the amber lenses were the choice for the day.
When the shuttle was complete we started lessons with the roll cast. Ayham had been fly fishing one time prior to this trip, so we started with the basics and would work all the way to catching from there. He started out a little nervous with his cast, but he gained confidence and then came the distance cast.
When the casts were long enough we started down the river on a swift flow. Our first choice of fly was the nymph with plenty of lead. The lead delivered the fly to the deepest depths of the river. Hunting. But the fish weren’t interested. What is normally the hot ticket turned out to be a zero on this day.
We switched tactics. Even though this was his first time fly fishing from a drift boat and his second time fly fishing, Ayham was eager to try a different approach.
The Echo saltwwater 6 wt. rod. It’s been a long time favorite of mine. This rod is probably 10 years old. It has been used as a streamer rod all that time and has taken everything from bluegill to stripers to musky with various types of streamers. It’s a good all-around stick and as with most trips the Echo was strung with the heaviest sinking line.We rigged up the rod with heavy line and a short leader. Then Ayham began to fish. We stopped to swing it and that’s where the first bite came. It was a simple hit and run it but gave us hope. Not long after with another good cast, the line began to swing. The fly caught up and the current began to push the fly sideways toward the swinging line. The line twitched and the fish came tight. Score one for the good guys in the green and white boat.
We fished the area thoroughly and picked up a couple more there. The rope that was attached to the anchor was pulling tight, seemingly eager to move. The rope was pulled and the anchor came off the bottom. We were on our way again. Ayham fished the streamer slowly which brought the most fish to the net. We were feeling pretty good about the day. Just before lunch we came into a part of the river that has been producing good numbers. This turn has also been producing some fat fish, mostly rainbows, throughout spring.
We were on a good flow and Ayham cast into some current that was flowing over a gravel bar. This particular bar had been pushed up during the heavy rains and larger releases of the year.
The fly lazily floated across the bar in the swift water. A large butter belly rolled on the small white fly. Ayham came tight like all the other times that day. The large brown felt the prick of the hook and immediately came across the bar and then into the middle of the river. Our new angler never stood a chance. There wasn’t any time at all to get the big brown trout under control. The fish spun the drag as it headed to the middle of the river in search of deeper water and the safety of the darkness. Ayham tried to turn the fish but the damage had been done and the 12lb tippet broke.
The rod was no longer bent and the line was swaying in the breeze. A few strips on the line and it was to the boat. Upon inspection the tippet was cut clean. Yes this brown had enough years to have a full set of teeth and apparently used them to assist with its escape.
Another fly was tied on right away and we continued fishing our way downriver. We had lunch a short time later and then we visited all the likely places before the take out. We boated a good number of fish especially considering this was his first time to fish streamers with heavy sinking line. It was a good day on the river with no other boats in sight.
With the rods hung in the truck and the F/V Southeastern Fly on the trailer, we said our goodbyes. Ayham was on his way back to Houston on a morning flight and I was headed back to the tying bench getting ready for the next shot at that big brown on clear-cold water. Yep, I want my fly back!
If you are a seasoned angler or have never picked up a fly rod and want to set up a day on the river e-mail or call/text 615-796-5143 to book a day on the water. For additional booking information see our Homepage and to see the latest fishing report click here.