Saturday was a day that Mother Nature showed off just how bi-polar she can be when it comes to weather. We started off the morning in the low 40s and overcast...perfect streamer weather. Early on the fish were actively stalking streamers as they were ripped from cover, following for 15 feet, then turning back without taking a bite. A few fish made half hearted slaps at the flies, including one fish in the low twenties, but no hook ups early. About three hours in everything shut down as the temp took a sharp drop, then started to hail, then rain. The hail and rain did not last too long and after about aan hour it started to warm back up a little and the sun came out. Eventually we got in to a few mid teens browns as the fish became active again and I found my mind focusing on a hole I knew was coming. Sure enough when we got to the spot and worked in to position a big buttery slab showed itself as the fly came through the first time, but it did not hook up. Waited a few seconds and fired a second cast through the slot and again a flash. Fired the fly in a third time along with a big upstream mend to slow it down and saw the fish coming seemingly in slow motion, mouth closed, line tightened up, JACKPOT! She fought unbelievably hard and took me downstream as she tried every trick in the book to get in to the far bank. I finally got the upper hand a bit downstream in a bit of slack water and coaxed her in to the net.
Nate was able to get a great shot of the fish with a Mufasa still flowing from her mouth. This fish was the hardest pulling brown I have fought through this last streamer season, and she taped out at 23.5". After two quick lifts for a photo the fly was removed, and the fish returned to freedom. Stuck to the plan for nine hard hours of hard fishing and it payed off.
Sunday consisted of continuing the tying that I started when I got off the river on Saturday. All day was spent at the vise knocking out flies for orders to hit the mail in the morning. The Post Office will be happy to see me coming!
Got a few sets of step by step shots completed and have some video of the fish release on Saturday....so good stuff to come here this week.