Saturday, June 4, 2011

Some days you just got it

Back up at 4:30a this morning and back to the river. On the way to the river I was thinking about the previous morning when Mariano had told me that despite completing his graduate studies in a month he was not leaving until he landed a 20" brown. Upon arrival riverside we were again greeted with high and light cloud cover to start off the morning with temperature and water color that was absolutely was on!

As we worked our way through the stretch we had chosen we got into a few year old fish and were having pretty regular action from fish turning on the flies and chasing. About an hour in he informed me that the tree about 250 yards downtream that was sticking out over the water was where he was going to get his which I responded "sweet!". We continued to work our way from undercut tree to undercut tree and pretty soon were down to the spot Mariano had called. As he carefully positioned himself to get a proper cast all the way up and under the overhang, right to the base of the rooball, I moved a bit downstream to get out of the way and to have a better view through the surface glare. The very first cast I watched in amazement as a big shadow followed his fly for 20 feet before retreating back from site. After a few laughs and big smiles he sent in cast number two, and the fish came out again and followed a good 30 feet...close enough to me when it turned that I could easily tell it was a big male. Dumbfounded he fired in another cast and watched the fish chase again...this was getting ridiculous. I looked at him and he wanted to let it rest for a minute so we carefully retreated to the far bank. I told him that I thought the fly was to light and the fish was turning away as it rose in the water column, to which he agreed and tied on an olive Meal Ticket. The fourth cast seemed to fly in around one branch and under another in slow motion, and as soon as it landed the water opened around it and Mariano was attached to a whole lot of pissed off fish. After a nail biting fight I slipped the net under the fish and we both let out a Jersey Shore style "WOOOO!!!" along with some high fives.

Once the fish calmed down a bit we slid in the tape under him and confirmed that Mariano had indeed called the spot from 250 yards upstream and backed it up by landing his largest brown to date; a solid 21" fish in the books.

We were both so excited about the fish that it took a few attempts to get a halfway decent shot, but I think the smile says it all.

After releasing the fish safely back to the river it was time to sit down, calm the nerves, retie and of course light up a celebratory cigar.

After a quick but intense rain shower we continued to work our way downstream towards some promising water. As we waded down through a relatively shallow stretch I spotted a good looking cut along a log and fired in a cast. As my fly slid in to the head of the cut the bottom of the log moved and my fly disappeared in an explosion of water, it was the most vicious hit I have had on the river. As I let out a yell the fish was furiously trying to dislodge the fly and get back under cover. Mariano was able to get over to me for the net and after a few minutes cram the massive brown securely in to the ghost netting. We both were making such a fool of ourselves laughing and high fiving that the landowner downstream came out to see what all the fuss was and then went back in to get his own was awesome!

25 inches of Voodoo Squatch decimating brown trout. The tail on this fish was absolutely huge and she had spots I would consider regal looking. She was a gorgeous fish.

Nothing better than a day on the water, except maybe a day on the water with a few big fish thrown in. What an awesome day!

-mike schmidt


  1. Over by an inch! Now he can graduate! Very nice blog...a friend of mine posted this story on Facebook. Glad he did. I'll now be following along!

  2. Thanks for checking it out emb! It really was neat to see that fish come to hand for him. That excitement is infectious and keeps up going back for more.

  3. Rock on Mike! One of these days we need to hook up on the river! I just don't get down there enough. Congrats though on a nice day! Let's connect to talk AK soon! I have some stuff to run past you.

  4. Would love to get out on the water with you man; with the water as high as it has been we could see good fishing right through the summer this year. Yesterday really was a special one...lot's of active fish and the big ones as the icing on the cake! Touch base any time about AK, I think about it pretty much every day. Can't wait!

  5. Mike: That is awesome. Not one, but two...Crap you guys are good. This is the stuff that gets me and others pumped up.........I smell a double header around the bend.......