Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Birthday Adventure 2017

Birthday Adventure 2017
4/20, 4/21/2017

 It wasn’t a banner day as far as trout catching as I had hoped but it turned out to be a good day to celebrate my 60th birthday. With trout fishing and good cigars, food and beverages, it was satisfying.


 I worked a few hours Thursday and headed out to Potter county for 4 days of trout fishing. After stopping in Coudersport to deliver flies I made it to Ole Bull Campground around 3:00pm. Finding they wanted $24.00 a night for a tent sight without electric or water I thought was gouging. I figured I’d rather sleep in my truck for at least the first night.
 From there I drove to the section of Kettle I know well and like to fish. There is usually some fish rising. After getting my gear on, I walked down to the creek and entered the cool waters of Kettle.
 The water was in great condition. The sun was peeping out between the cloud cover now and then and with that brought a few small caddis flying above the water. I saw a few Mayflies, I would say Hendricksons, but I couldn’t catch any to identify them. Fishing the stretch of water I caught a few trout on Woolly Buggers and while nymph fishing. 

  It wasn’t till after 6:30 when things got more interesting. Caddis started to flutter about the water pretty heavy. This brought a few trout to the surface. A bleached Elk Hair Caddis would imitate the wing color but I wasn’t sure of the body color. Trying to catch a fly in the air isn’t an easy accomplishment. Anytime one got near I tried to nab it in flight but I wasn’t having any luck. From the road I probably looked like some long haired hippy hallucinating, grabbing money falling from the sky. I kept at it though and finally had one in my grasp.
 The body color was a creamy yellow with an orange egg sack. If there were tails on it, it might have looked more like a sulfur flying around but it definitely was a Caddis. I always carry at least one box of a variety of Caddis with me. I opened the box and picked out a #18 Elk Hair Caddis though some of the Caddis I seen were in the #16 to #14 range. Within a few casts it was hard to see the small Caddis so I switched over to a #14 for visibility and to see if the trout would take it.
 There weren’t many risers but occasionally one would surface the water hard enough to make that audible splash. I’d turn my head in time to see the swirl left behind and get an idea of his feeding zone.
 Just beyond midstream there was a good splash upon the surface and I was looking right at it when it all happened. I made a few false casts and landed the Caddis upstream from the rise. He didn’t attempt to take it on the first drift through but on the next cast he nailed it like someone swooping pocket change, being thrown towards him, out of mid air. I set the hook with a backhand and my first dry fly caught fish was tormenting the line and rod like it was never caught before.  

  Now that I was sure I conquered the Caddis identity it was time to confidently catch more trout on the dry. Every time I saw a surface disturbance I was casting the Caddis imitation to the zone. It was more times than not I brought the trout to the surface and more times than not it was hooked and fighting to get free. It was like picking off pop-up targets at a shooting gallery.

 Even a sneaky sipper wasn’t safe if I happen to see it dimple the surface water.

 The trout I caught were pretty much tearing up the Caddis imitations with their frisky tormenting battles. I had to change patterns as the elk hair was being tore up and slipping out of the thread wraps. It was getting dark as the sun was already below the mountain tree tops. One more trout and I headed back to the truck.

 After talking to the owner of the parking spot I was at, he agreed to let me park there overnight to save on camping rates. He looked in my truck and mentioned how it didn’t look too comfortable. I told him with a few shots of bourbon and a beer it might be comfortable enough.
 After changing clothes I headed into Cross Forks for beer, wings and to watch the Pen’s beat the Blue Jackets.


 When I woke up real early Friday morning I found Kettle Creek was running muddy. It must have rained harder and longer than I remember while I was sleeping. I drove over to Cross Fork Creek and it was flowing fast, high and muddy also. I had a couple of options. I’m not one to wait muddy waters out so I had to find some place to fish. My options were to drive all the way to Black Moshannon or head over to Young Womans Creek and hope it was fishable. Since YWC was closer and not much out of the way I figured of stopping there and checking it out.

 When I got to the Young Womans Creek it was flowing pretty fast and also was stained but fishable

 I dressed into my fishing stuff and made sure I had everything I needed for the days adventure. Usually I fish this with a short rod but seeing the fast current I figured I’d be throwing heavily weighted streamers and extra weighted nymphs. I took out my SAS Scott 5 weight and, because of the narrow creek, my line choice was DT line. I knew it would do well and better to roll cast.
 I tried fishing the fast current but wasn’t doing very well. I decided to walk upstream and look for a wider section with more manageable fishing conditions. It wasn’t until I got a snag in the middle of the creek that I realized the water was deeper than I thought and the quick undercurrent was keeping my offering from not getting to the bottom. I waded out thigh deep to retrieve my bugger when I realized the depth. From then on I added more weight and started to finally get some takers.

  I fished most of the day in a few different sections. I switched off from nymph fishing to Woolly Bugger fishing. I don’t think the fish were moving very far in the swift current so I had to get my offerings right in front of them.

  The trout I did catch were good fighters in the strong current. I lost quite a few trying to get them across or up to me against the force of the current but I did manage a few netted.

 A few good cigars kept me content in between the hook ups. I forgot to bring bug spray so the cigars were more than just a satisfying smoke. They also kept the bugs from flying around my face.

 By the end of the day I was pretty much played out. I did catch a few trout but it was challenging wading the forceful current. I actually quit earlier than I usually do but I had a good meal to prepare for my birthday dinner.

 Back at camp I took out the Venison butterfly steaks I had marinating. After the coals got hot enough I laid them on the charcoal grille and seasoned them with Montreal Steak seasoning. I also sprinkled them with bourbon barrel aged Worcestershire sauce.

 While the steaks were cooking I enjoyed a pint of my favorite beer. WEE-HEAVY-ER from French Broad Brewery from North Carolina. 

 Well, it was time to enjoy my birthday meal cooked to perfection. Venison butterfly steaks that melted in my mouth. 

 After dinner I cleaned up and it was time to celebrate.
 Back in March I went to Kentucky and visited a friend who lives near the bourbon distilleries. We took a couple days and he took me to the distilleries for some bourbon tasting. It’s great to have a designated driver! I tasted a single barrel straight bourbon whiskey from Four Roses that was the best sipping bourbon out of all the ones I’ve tasted. It was kind of expensive for a 750ml bottle so I opted for a $9.00 50ml instead for such the occasion. (I like to plan ahead.)

 It doesn’t get much better after a full day of doing what I like to do best and that is trout fishing. After that sitting next to a trout stream, out in the wilderness, relaxing, sipping great bourbon and smoking a good stogie. (A few friends would have made it better but, hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes.)

 Kentucky bourbon and a Kentucky fire cured cigar

  Here’s to 60 years, good health and good fishing.

Cin Cin!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday on Young Womans Creek

Sunday on Young Woman’s Creek
(This was the last day of my birthday weekend in Clinton County.)

  I think the challenge of nymph fishing is to try to catch more trout than the nymphs you lose. If you catch about the same amount of trout per nymph you break even. Sunday I was way below breaking even.
 I’m not a counter by any means. Once I catch about 6 trout I lose count. As far as counting how many flies I lose it’s frustrating enough so I don’t want to really know. Catching two trout at the same time is very rare. On the other hand, when tandem nymph fishing, losing two flies are quite common. I’m already at a disadvantage. Whether it’s sticking to the creek bed hazards or the low hanging branches there will be flies to be lost. I guess this is why I like to bugger fish. I don’t nearly lose as many buggers to fish total I catch. I’m just glad I tie my own flies.
 When I’m having a frustrating day sometimes it’s just a good idea to stand tall, light up a good stogie and enjoy the beautiful day. Sometimes nymph fishing does have its rewards though.

 I sat on a log tying 5x tippet to my 4x tapered leader for the umpteenth time with a double uni-knot. To this I knotted on a wet fly and, using 6x tippet, dropped a pheasant tail nymph as a dropper. I stood up and puffed on my stogie I held between my lips that kept the small gnats from flying in my face. I looked over the creek and watched Red Quills, Quill Gordon’s and a few small caddis flying about. I didn’t see a rise to any of them.
 I waded out a few feet from the weedy bank and took a stand. I looped the tandem flies up creek from the overhanging branch where my San Juan worm hung. My flies landed just a couple of feet from the far bank. I made a slight mend up creek and watched my fly line drift with the current. The fly line arced beneath the branch and I watched the end of the fly line dip. I stripped in line hard and lifted the rod over my shoulder upstream. This time the object at the end of my tight line moved. It moved from the bank into the deeper section of the creek. A few head shakes and the arc in the rod told me this wasn’t the average size fish I’ve been catching the past few days. I kept side pressure on him as he struggled in the deep undercurrent. When he turned downstream he took off like a freight train. Line zipped out of the reel and I realized I had the drag set light to the trout I had been catching. With line tension between my fingers and the cork grip I quickly turned the drag tighter with my other hand. He still took line out with the rod arced more which slowed him down considerably. I knew I couldn’t bring him towards me in the faster current I was standing in. I slowly backed up onto the weedy bank while he struggled in the knee deep water. Once on the bank I put a little more pressure on him to turn him towards the bank. He slowly swam and stopped just out from the weedy bank. I’m not sure if it was my scruffy beard or my mug but as soon as I was within his vision he took off like a scared overgrown puppy away and down creek.
 Below the section of water I was fighting him in the water narrowed into fast white water current. I couldn’t let him down there or I’d lose him for sure. I held the rod handle up as the rod bowed down towards the fish. I held the line tight hoping my knots didn’t give out. He splashed about in the shin deep shallows with the current trying to help push him down creek. Any time I walked down the bank towards him the current pushed him further downstream. I finally pointed the rod up creek wanting him to swim straight into the current. It took a little coaxing but he followed the pulling rod up past me. I swung the rod towards the bank and landed him on the wet weedy grass. Though it was a couple of days after my birthday it was the biggest trout I caught thus far. I considered this my birthday trout.
 A beautiful brown that looked stream bred or at least had been around for years.

  After 5 casts later my line tightened on an immovable object. After losing 2 more nymphs I had enough and gave up my nymph fishing. I decided to head up to the bridge to see if there were any rising trout to any of the Mayflies about the water.
 As I was knotting on a section of 5x tippet, on the bank, a trout rose between me and the downside of the bridge. The day before a trout rose in the same general area after Mayflies about a size #14. I showed him a Hendrickson which he rose and looked at. He quickly disappeared and never rose again. Well, today I caught one of those Mayflies and discovered they were Quill Gordons. I noticed these Mayflies were drifting from under the bridge trying to take flight. Once in a while one of those Mayflies that didn’t get off the water soon enough was a meal for the one rising trout. He took the Mayflies like a butchers dog taking a morsel of scrap before it hit the floor. I knotted on one of my Quill Gordons and slowly stepped into the water along the bank. Out of five casts I missed him twice. I’m not a master by any means hooking fish from a long cast behind them. I stepped back out of the water and made myself around the bank side brush to the bridge for a downstream cast. He was on the far side of midstream and I was sure the slightly wavy current hid my silhouette. I false cast some line out and looped it just below the bridge letting it drift into his sight. With a little back up of the rod before the fly hit the water gave some slack in the line for a drag free drift. The fish took my imitation without any hesitation. I backed up the rod for the hook set and a frisky small trout playfully came to hand.

 I made a few more casts in the general area but there weren’t any other takers. I made my way to the road. On the bridge I looked over the upstream side and there was a trout along the edge rising to Mayflies often enough. I made my way around the rocks on the other side of the guardrail and down to the creek. The trout evidently saw me coming and disappeared into the deep wavy current. 
 I stood looking for any more risers and spotted a trout rising quickly to Mayflies near the opposite bank. There was a back eddy caused by an exposed boulder. I calculated the length of line I needed and made a few casts in the eddy. With the wavy mid creek current made my imitation not able to sit very long in the eddy. With a long pause of the rising trout I noticed another rising a little more down creek. It was also near the far bank but in much slower water just below the edge of the bridge. This looked to be a little more convenient but still a challenge with the cross current between me and the trout. I calculated distance with my false cast and dropped the fly near the rises. It took a little time watching my fly drift to get an idea how my dry acted in the slower current. With a slow easy side arm cast I let the arc of the line fly through the air with my dry following. I dropped the rod tip and the dry landed with the fly line upstream from my Quill Gordon. The dry drifted into the strike zone and before the fly line caught up in the faster current to drag it down creek a trout rose viciously to my Quill Gordon with a splash. I pulled back on the long line for the hook set and another frisky trout fought beneath the deeper faster current trying to free itself. I got him near enough to me without many problems once he was out of the faster current.

 I might have spent another 5 to 10 minutes trying for the riser in the back eddy but couldn’t get a good enough drag free drift to fool the trout. I had a long drive home and decided to call it quits for now. Back at the truck I slowly followed the creek downstream looking at pools hoping for any more rising trout. Just before crossing the creek for the last time I pulled over into a big parking area and changed into driving clothes. My 4 day birthday fly fishing adventure came to a close and it was time to make the long drive home.
 Just after going through Driftwood I pulled out my last cigar for the day. The Joya De Nicaragua Antonano had a tight firm body feel to it. It is a Dark Corojo cigar that I thought might be a little strong and bold. It turned out to be an enjoyable medium smooth smoke for the way home.

   Just south of Benezette I saw something out of the ordinary. From the distance it looked like a bunch of brown boulders along the bank of a grassy lawn. I knew immediately what I was actually seeing. With no one behind me I took out my camera to take a picture as I slowed down.

 Just in front of a house I slowed down even more for a close up of the Elk grazing in the yard. With the passenger window down I stopped next to an Elk. He turned and looked at me and I got the perfect picture of him looking at me!

 I may have not got all the dry fly fishing I had hoped for but it had been a good challenging long birthday weekend in Potter and Clinton County.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bamboo and Sylk

Bamboo and Sylk

  Wednesday the North Carolina weatherman promised up to 70 degrees and no rain. It sounded like the perfect day to break out the bamboo rod.
 In the parking lot I assembled the 3 piece bamboo sections and fitted the slip ring reel seat with my Martin Classic MC78 reel with WF5F Cortland Sylk line.  After threading the fly line through the small eyes of the rod I replaced the old tapered leader with a fresh 7 ½ foot 4x. To this I added a section of 5x tippet. My intentions were to catch a fish on a dry fly.
 When I left PA there was still snow on the ground and freezing weather. I only brought a limited supply of dry flies and was hoping one of them will work on these Carolina trout.
 At the creek I spotted a couple of trout that had risen to the surface in two different locations. The only fly activity I saw was a couple of small caddis about the size #18. The past couple of days I had seen a few trout rise to the few BWO’’s on the water also.
 I first knotted on a caddis imitation. I stripped line out through the eyes and began my back cast. With a high smooth back cast the bamboo flexed rearward and I waited for the sylk line to load the rod. Once I felt the weight and rod flex rearward I began a smooth straight forward cast. I’m sure any onlookers from a distance looked as if I was casting in slow motion from what they are used to seeing with graphite rods. The fly line looped over my shoulder and continued on carrying the fly behind it. The supple sylk line fell to the surface water as the caddis fell on the surface beyond. The slow current carried the caddis down stream a bit until I seen a drag on the water. A quicker back cast had the limber bamboo flexing with the fly line and caddis taking flight. After a few more casts and no takers I decided to knot on a small #18 BWO. With the same motion I delivered the dry fly out onto the water.
 Though I wasn’t getting any trout interested it felt good to cast and control the soft action of the rod. I must have spent a good half hour playing around casting dries to unconcerned trout, but it was fun.
 Not wanting to over bear the bamboo with too much weight I decided to nymph fish instead of using heavy weighted buggers. I knotted on a pink sucker spawn and used a San Juan as a dropper. I went up creek where I had done well the day before.
 Water funneled through an opening in the man made rock diversion that ran the width of the creek. The fast current rushed midstream as water slowed to either side of the wider downstream section causing an eddy. I added a small strip of lead to the leader and concentrated on fishing the slower back eddy before me. I was standing on the flat boulders placed on each side of the rock diversion so I was a lot higher than the surface water. After I made a cast along the slow seam of water, I kept the long rod straight out and kept an eye out for any uncommon twitch of the fly line. The line all of a sudden swayed outward and I yanked the rod upward and set the hook. The line tightened and I felt a frisky trout flexing the limber stick. I let him play for a short while before reaching over the blocks and netting him.

I continued on searching the slow water for more morning hungry trout. The next one was a little larger and put a little more flex in the limber stick. I moved down creek to net him.

 Lets just say the next hour or so we were having fun.

  I watched the fly line being swept down creek with the outflow of the midstream current. The fly line changed direction, with the backflow, and started heading back towards me. I was taking in slack line and keeping the rod over the water watching for any strike. The fly line dipped down just a bit and I pulled in the fly line and pulled up on the cork handle. The bamboo stick bowed downward with a heavy feel in the cork grip. The trout tugged and then took off down and across stream. The audible sound of the Martin reel clicked rapidly with the escaping hooked trout. I laid my palm against the brim of the spool to add a little more pressure on the line. The trout turned towards the far bank and continued to tug and jerk on the line which shook the rod tip in quick succession. After a little more outbursts I brought the rod up and he began to swim towards me. He kept deep beneath the incoming funneled current and came to almost a standstill in front of me in the deeper water. While bringing in line I knelt down on the flat boulder and laid the net to me side. I was able to raise him without too much aggressiveness and was able to get him in the net. It was a fun ride with a little huskier trout that I had been catching on the bamboo rod.
 I fished the bamboo rod till just afternoon. I caught a few more trout but never had the opportunity to hook into one on a dry fly. After lunch I put the bamboo rod back into the rod tube and headed north to check out another delayed harvest area I was planning on fishing the following day.

 It was a pleasant outing with the bamboo rod and was good to get it back from having the ferrules refitted.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

The River Tuckasegee

The River Tuckasegee
North Carolina 3/23/17
 After my sons showed me the river I was going to fish they continued on to their work sight. I drove down the road, following the river, to get a good view of the water. There were already a few fishermen fishing the project waters in the 40 degree morning. Down stream I turned around and headed up river again to an area that looked like good water with an outcropping of boulders and plenty of deeper pocket water. After dressing for the cold morning I decided on chest waders and strung up my 4 weight 9' rod. I looked over the river and knotted on a Woolly Bugger before entering the water. With 4 cigars I figured would last me till me sons join me in the afternoon. I put a water bottle in my bottle/belt holder and walked down the bank to meet the river.
 The water was clear but the sun hadn't overtook the river just yet. The river looked mostly knee to thigh high deep but there was plenty of deeper pockets behind the outcropping of boulder and nice deeper wavy runs that were sure to hold fish. After getting a few yards out from the bank I made a long cast into the river and let the bugger swing with the current. My next cast was a little further out not really concentrating on a set target. On the swing the line shot outward and I set the hook with a quick wrist. The trout darted out further in anger and began to struggle with the line as it swam in the current. I turned it around and soon it was reluctantly coming towards me with twisting tugs. The aggressive rainbow wasn't too happy being netted and wiggled quite harshly before I was able to get the hook loose and release him back into the river.

I was slowly making my way along the rocky bottom wanting to get serious once I got below a rock formation that ran across the river with plenty of crevices and seams between the boulders. I decided to not get in a hurray and decided to work the bugger in a couple of short deep pocket waters that I would be surprised didn't hold fish.
 My fifth cast was in a shallow run that flowed and made a good riffle seam into shallower water before entering between the cross river boulders. If there was a trout holding it had to be up against the side of a flat boulder or keeping steady in the back end of the deeper pocket. My cast was up stream and I let some slack in the line so the bugger would drop deep before swinging into the seam flow. I held the rod tip up as if nymph fishing and then swung it down stream and let the bugger swing into the deeper tail out. The tug was quite noticeable as the arc in the fly line straightened. When I pulled back and set the hook the rod arced into the butt section and there was no give like the previous trout. I felt a couple of forceful  head tugs. I tightened my grip on the cork as line spun off the spool as the big fish B-lined to the middle of the river. I could feel the trout struggle with the taught  line with twisting tugs as it swam upstream. I held my ground not forcing the issue and let the large trout exert its energy. The torque of the flexed rod began to take its toll and he swung down river keeping his distance. I kept the rod tip up when he swam with speed not wanting too much line to drag in the water. When he was near enough and battled beneath in a small area I lowered the rod tip level with the water surface. It's always hard to decide when to start forcing a big fish to come to me. I know I'm only using 5x tippet so too much force too soon, where he has enough energy to turn quickly and shoot out like a cannon ball, could be a story of 'the big one that got away.' When I got him turned up river I moved the rod up stream and he followed the initial pull. I pinched the fly line between my finger and the front of the cork grip trying to hold the rod steady while I reached behind me for my net. I had the net ready and slowly lifted the rod up and over my head while reaching out and under the trout. The big trout belly flopped in the net and almost forced itself over the brim but I was able to steady the net, with the heavy trout inside, with a lock wrist and a clinched fist over the wooden handle.
 I admired my catch for a second or two. It laid arced in the web of the net with its tail raised above its head in the undersized trout net. After finding the hook, I took my hemostats and unhooked the bugger from its jaw. A turn of the net and he turned right-side and swam back into the river water.

 I hadn't been in the river more than 10 minutes and already felt I had scored my share of the $38.00 I paid for a nonresident license and trout stamp. It was still the early morning, before 10, but a reward cigar I felt was in order.

 Puffing on the stogie I continued swinging and working the bugger along the seams and riffles caused by the outcropping of big boulder. I continued catching aggressive rainbows after aggressive rainbow as if these trout were just stocked but the way they fought I knew they inhabited the river for some time. On occasion I'd hook up with a brook trout but rarely. Now and then a fish would rise but I couldn't see anything along the water. I did try a small dry fly on occasion but never got a reaction from the trout towards it.

 I notice along the far bank a few fish were rising and made a decision to head that way. I knotted on the Woolly Bugger and fished it while carefully wading over the rocky bottom within range of the slower current out from the far bank. Once within distance I contemplated my options.
 From past experience I've learned sometimes big fish hold in the slowest of water near the bank away from the bustle of rough water and aggressiveness of smaller fish competing for food or fun. Maybe they just lay there soaking up the sun like a tourist on the beach. Just lying around waiting for a beach maid to bring him a tall cool tropical drink. Whatever the reason I've found this happen more than once.
 Plopping a heavy bugger in the slow current might alert the trout and become wary. I wasn't sure what the depth really was since I kept my distance and was more afraid to snag up and cause water disturbance. I decided to knot on a sucker spawn with one of my bi-color 'tropical' San Juan flavor worms as a dropper. With a little added weight on the leader I made an overhand cast, of the tandem rig, and dropped it upstream from the slow pool and let it drift under an indicator upon the slow surface current. The tear drop indicator stood up for a split second and dipped ever so lightly on the surface. I yanked the rod over my shoulder for a hook set and I felt the 4 weight rod arc somewhere near the butt section. There was no give on the other end like the 11-14 inch trout I had been catching. I felt a sharp nudge in the line and then the tight line started to move upstream like an oversized carp awakened by a deep sleep by a sharp pierce of the lip. Line was slowly pulled from the spool as the flexed rod and spool drag wasn't hampering the fish in the direction it was deciding it wanted to go. I stood with my right hand gripping tightly around the cork handle and my left finger pinching the fly line letting the line slip through my fingers with tension. Once the fish reached the oncoming faster current it took off upriver like a powerful tug boat as line still pulled out from the spool. A quick couple of thwarting head shakes, as like a horse trying to shew away flies, and than the trout decided to turn and pick up speed swimming downriver. I lifted the rod high keeping a straight line to the fish as I reeled in line onto the spool. Once I felt the rod tip flex with pressure I let the fish fight the drag and rod flex as it continued downriver. I quickly turned the drag knob two clicks tighter and in a few seconds the fish turned upstream and fought with spotty tugs and thwarts beneath the surface.
  It was evident this fish was a brute. I hadn’t got a look at it so I was trying to guess what it was. It swam and felt like a heavy weight carp but with the head shakes and tugs it couldn’t be. It didn’t fight as frisky and wasn’t as fast as a big rainbow. A heavy brown usually battles tooth and nail beneath with an occasional alligator roll trying to get free. This fish just seems to lumber about with tugging head shakes at times as if to wonder if he was still attached to something. It had lots of room to roam around so I just held on and hoped my line doesn’t drag on exposed rocks and fray.
 He stopped right across from me but still some distance away. I could see the swirl in the surface water where he put up some commotion below. The rod flexed with his wayward actions and I probably looked like I had snagged a drifting log as I stood puffing on my stogie. When the fish decided to move I got ready for another swimming trial. He headed upriver again but abruptly turned towards me. I reeled in line while keeping tension with the bowed rod. He swam within a few yards of me and then high tailed it down river once more. Tensioned line peeled off the spool once more as there was no stopping the brute. Once down river he seemed to calm down and began to slowly swim towards me in no hurry. Again I reeled line into the reel keeping the rod tip bowed towards him. Within sight he swam up river in front of me and I visually seen his silver bluish sides beneath the surface. A short distance up river he curved around and started to come towards me again. I reeled in more line till he looked like he was within distance of netting. I had the rod angled in front of me as I reached for my net with my other hand. After submerging the net in the water I brought the rod high and the trout gingerly entered the net without much fighting. I stared at the brute of a brook trout. It had to be close to the longest brook trout I ever caught and definitely the heaviest.

  Well, with that fish I deserved a shot but I hadn’t brought the flask with me.
 I made a few more casts with the tandem set up into the slower water but didn’t pull anything out. I switched over to the Woolly Bugger and for the next hour or two waded and scoured the river for more hungry trout.

  I was catching trout after trout. Just after noon I was getting a bit hungry and slowly started to wade towards the road side bank. I spotted a wooden landing net drifting down river heading between the river bank and me. I slowly waded and intercepted it before it was able to pass by. It was well made with a rubber net. There was a magnet on a lanyard that had apparently got away from someone upstream. Looking up river I saw no one that would have been in the path of the lost net. There was a bend in the river that I couldn’t see anyone beyond that. I took the net to the truck and laid it in the bed. If someone was interested in finding it they were sure welcome to come and get it.
 It was about 2:30 or so. I took a couple of bites from a sub sandwich I bought and rested a bit on the tailgate enjoying the sunshine and the cool breeze. Occasionally a vehicle would cruise down the road as if looking for someplace to park and fish. There was enough space to park in front of my truck but no one decided to stop. After some time I headed back into the water where I started fishing in the morning. There was one fisherman upriver who was landing a trout. ¾ of the way across the river another fellow was nymph fishing towards the middle of the river. I dipped into the water and waded out far enough to make a long cast without interference from the bank side trees.
 I slowly waded and made my way to a deep run I had fished and caught trout earlier. Spending a short time drifting the woolly bugger through resulted in no strikes. When the other fellow waded down river I started to wade within distance of where he was fishing. After a couple of long casts and swinging the bugger I finally connected with another trout.
 I was mid river, facing the road when my sons showed up. They got their rods and gear on and joined me. They fished up river but within conversation distance. By now I was dredging the bottom with a nymph and a San Juan as a dropper. I’d pick up a trout now and then. 

 On one occasion I felt a hard strike as my imitations swung near the end of its drift beneath a little faster flow. I suppose it looked like a drowned worm being swept away by the current. The strike was so hard that the trout may have set the hook itself. I lifted the rod and gave it a little yank to make sure the hook was set good. The trout on the other end shot out of the water in full acrobatic form. It plunged back into the water and shot right back out like someone stepping into streaming hot bath water too hot to enter. He returned to the water, swam a short distance and once more leaped from the surface skyward. Maybe he was practicing for a high jump meet later on? From the looks of it he might win.
 When I finally got this energetic trout to the net I seen I caught my first brown trout in the river. This completed the trifecta for the day.

I watched my one son catch a few trout but my youngest hadn’t caught a trout yet in the short time they were fishing. Giddeon headed to the bank and I followed shortly after. Just before I made it to the river bank I heard Jesse Pete call out he had one. I turned and watched him bring it in.
 At the truck we changed clothes. I told them there were trout all over in the river. I also told them I had never caught so many trout in one day in my life that I could recall.

 Another successful new trout water experience in the books!!!