Thanks to all of you who sent emails of concern. No, I have not died, been taken ill, or been swept away by raging water. The Goat is alive and well. Between work and well, work, I have not been able to find the time to spend at the keyboard giving more regular updates. Hopefully this problem will be remedied with better time management, if there is such a thing. Now on to the good stuff .
May has been challenging in regard to catching for many anglers. Catch rates are down in my experience and from the reports received from others. However, at least on the Kinni, I am seeing some of the finest quality trout in my short 30 year history on the river. Numbers are down, no doubt, but quality is awesome when anglers are able to hook-up and land the trout that have weathered the last few years of turbulence.
The photo above is of Randy, Fin and Liam. We guided the 8 and 10 year olds and their Mother this week. Fin is holding his nice brown. Liam caught a nice and rare lower Kinni Brook trout and Elizabeth caught a fish as well.
The smiles tell the story.
Below are a couple other stories from May. Take a look.
Robin had never held a fly rod. She had promised a co-worker she would learn to fly fish. He thought it might be just what she needed in order to mix some sanity into the challenges of life, work, and family. He was right! Robin found me on the web. She liked my bio and thought I might be the teacher for her. She was right! On the phone she told me that she was a quick study and fly fishing should be easy to learn. I snickered. Later after her 5th or 6th or 7th fish came to hand, she reminded me of that snicker. Robin listened and learned. Her drifts and mends were spot on. We had picked the right spot and the patterns were edible. The fish came one after another. We fished a public access spot that most of you have fished before. We saw no other anglers.
The big fish came on a deep drift through a rocky pool. Even though snags were prevalent on her drifts through this pool, I encouraged her to keep setting the hook if the indicator moved awkwardly. She never wavered and continued to set at the slightest movements of the indicator. If there is one thing I have learned about indicator fishing, it is to believe! Believe that any movement of the indicator could be the result of a fish toying with the fly. SET THE HOOK! Once you decided that any movement is a rock or a stick or a weed, you have lost your edge. With all my clients I have “the rule of 11″ which is clearly laid out at the beginning of the trip. The rule of 11 states that once I have explained a concept to you 11 times and you are disregarding it, I probably won’t tell you again. No one likes a nag, right? A bazillion drifts I have watched over time and the net result of not setting the hook is a big goose egg in the catching category. Robin set the hook. Another rock, right? After the third jerk, this rock moved. It moved with purpose. The head shakes were violent and the three weight was just about bent in half. I could see the leaders plucking movement as the fish swam back and forth between the large boulders at the bottom of the pool. This fish seemed to be trying to wear through the light tippet by strafing it against the rocks. This trout was destined to be held by this beginning angler and after a few minutes came to net. Angler and guide shared a special moment. The fish was released.
On the walk out of the Lower Kinni we came across a row of benches. Robin asked me a question. The question stopped me in my tracks. She asked me if I knew a guy named Jim Thomson. She told me that Jim was the co-worker she had made the fly fishing promise to before he passed away last year. Robin also told me that she knew there was a bench somewhere on the Kinni dedicated to Jim. She wanted to know where it was. Little did she know, the bench was a hundred yards up stream from where we had fished. Waters that Jim had guided and fished for many years and waded in as a child. Jim was a friend and mentor to both of us. There is no doubt his hand was with both of us that day. We shed a tear,,,,, together. How Cool is that?
The Kinni’s waters and woodlands whisper words of life. Her braided currents harbor the connections to spirit, and place, and person. Listen next time your there.
I forgot my camera on May 19th. what a knucklehead……
I am thankful to Roger, who took the photo and documented this catch on his phone. See him there casting the shadow? This is his fish with me holding it; well the part of me he didn’t crop out when he sent the photos. Anyhow, he kept the good parts. As I look at the photo, I am reminded of the epic battle in order to land this bad boy. This is one of a handful of browns this size I have seen over the years. Photos rarely do justice, and this one is missing perspective for you to see its actual size. The mouth and head were gigantic and could have easily gulped down its unknowing brethren in a heartbeat. Roger did not want a picture of himself with the fish because that would have meant more time for the fish to be out of water. An honorable call. This guy took off like a jet when released.