|Tail water Fog|
|20 + Incher Courtesy of Mike|
As darkness fell we stuck a fair number of what we consider cookie cutter fish for this system, from about 18-21 inches on average. The integrated sinking lines went back in the boat bags and out came the aggressive floating lines and surface patterns, our favorite type of fishing under the cover of darkness. All things started out with a bang, I got completely hammered on by a fish on the second or third cast. So much so that the rod was literally pulled out of my hand and almost went into the drink. I was taken by surprise to say the least. A minute later and a beautiful specimen stretching the tape to 22 inches was in hand. A nice way to start out a night, and we had some steady action similar to this for the next hour or so before we pushed on to new water. With the new water, a change in our success. Heavy levels of fog made navigating the water very difficult.
|22 Inch Darkness Brown|
|Mike's First Streamer Victim|
|20 Inch Male Brown|
Later that day, like around 5:30 PM or so we choked down a nice Diablo Shrimp dinner, courtesy of yours truly and then made the lazy hike back to the river. Figuring we would get a few hours of nymphing in before darkness fell we rigged up and hit a favorite haunt. 2nd cast with my Echo 11' 4 weight and a rainbow was attached, then "SNAP", the rod broke. The fish takes off, and the upper third of my rod is lying snapped in the drink. GOOD TIMES! Funny thing is the blank broke in the exact spot as the 3 weight that snapped about a week prior. Must have been a blemish from the factory as this was the first time this particular rod was pulled from the tube. So now I'm down two Shadows in less than a week, no worries they are on their way to the factory for repair, and from what they informed me at the plant, only 5 have been returned out of over 400 sold, hopefully this is just a fluke.
|Mike With A Nice Streamer Brown|
A few small one's and then darkness fell and we took a few decent fish, none of which came to net. We were both beat and burned ourselves out pretty good from the night prior so we made the command decision to call it a day and head home. For some reason we didn't feel up to spending the night out chasing brutes in the cover of darkness this year. Both Mike and I have taken some pretty impressive fish at night over the years together, but for some reason we just couldn't get motivated enough to take part in the festivities this evening. The next day I ventured out solo, as my fishing partner had to work, and the guy who was supposed to come and float for the day had to do the same. I got a late start, about 11:00 AM to be perfectly honest it was OK. I met two guys at my put in that seemed to be of the same fabric as myself in terms of fishing. Tom and Pete were lounging on the banks of the river after a first light streamer float and admired one of my streamers hanging on the fly patch. A few stories, an exchange of some patterns and info and another fishing connection was made. It is really amazing how many quality people I have met over the years stream side, if you guys are reading this, we will hit that water sometime in the near future.
Now back to the fishing. Well, it was an interesting day to say the least. Easily 25-30 mph sustaining winds with trees creaking and buckling from the breeze. It didn't stop the fish from feeding as I basically spent my day indicator nymphing the riffles either from boat, or anchor up get out and attack. I didn't get any pictures as I was flying solo and am not a big fan of the timed solo fish shot as it just equates to more time for a fish to be out of the water. I think when all was said and done, about 2 or 3 dozen fish came to net that day. From large to small, the biggest of which was a 23 inch hook jawed male that literally crushed a crane fly larva and provided a funny story. So here I am fishing a great riffle from the boat, I hook this fish and he jumps instantly, and peels a good amount of line. The riffle I am fishing is pretty heavy water and from my position I risk losing the fish as I am putting way too much pressure on him. I seat the rod in between my knees, pull the anchor and head to the shore. An old timer who owns a house right on the bank witnesses all of this and commends my efforts. I jump out, boat net in hand and grab the beast. The gentleman kindly offers to snap a picture of the beauty for me so I pitch him my camera. Only problem is the battery is dead....... Oh well, better luck next time.
|Size 16 Cahill|
|18 Inch Bow|
|18 Inch Brown|
At the end of our float we bumped into a good friend and guide Jeff who was out looking for a few Trico sippers before an afternoon guide trip. It was nice to spend a few days on a favorite tail water, one I can never get sick of or get enough of.
The one thing I will say, this particular river takes on a whole new meaning when it has water in it, and is in my opinion the top of the food chain for quality trout fishing in our neck of the woods....