Friday was supposed to be the nicest day so we decided to get up and head over to C & M for breakfast because we were going to fish the whole day rather than taking a break in the afternoon like the previous days.
It worked out great. Just as we got to the river the sun came out and we could feel it warming everything, including us. Eric and I headed up to the tailout like yesterday and Dad and Joe stayed below. The water had come down a bit so it wasn’t pushing quite as much like the previous days so Eric and I figured that the steelies may not hold in the same area and we should move around and work the nearby vicinity because they couldn’t be far.
Eric started a little higher in the run where there was a little more current and hooked one pretty quick like yesterday, but it jumped and spit the hook like yesterday as well. After that about an hour passed and I had worked my way down to the same area where I got my strikes the previous day so I was getting ready for some action.
Every one of the fish I hooked on the streamers came at the end of swing, closer to shore and I was thinking that one of these times something is going to smack it out in the middle. I always hope that swinging flies though. That’s usually when the line is very tight and hit feels like a cement block.
With the water down I could see the structure and the seams a bit better so I could make casts with more accuracy. Straight out and slightly upstream of me was a good sized boulder making a nice seam/holding area behind it. The fly landed just upstream of the boulder and the current sucked the fly down behind and into the seam where it barely started swinging and I felt a heavy weight take control of the line so I set the hook and the rod just about flew out of hand. A nice buck had risen from off the bottom and inhaled the purple conehead and was going crazy thrashing around the surface then took off all the way to the far side of the stream out in the heaviest current.
I thought to myself, this is it, he is going to turn and mack truck downstream and clean my clock. but he didn’t.....WHEW!!! I kept good pressure on him, but not too much, and he wound up holding out in the middle for a good 2 minutes. I worked him closer then he shot back out again. Boy was I glad I had just changed tippet and put a fresh piece of 10 lb fluoro on the line. I felt good about the hook being in a solid place so I took some deep breaths and just held on and let him tire his self out in the heavier current.
He tired after another minute or two and I worked in to the bank where Eric was and he shot back out and thrashed around after he saw him. The second time in I told Eric to be ready and he was. Got him on the surface and he started thrashing around but Eric made a great scoop and he was ours. I looked downstream and my Dad was watching the whole thing unfold so I raised my arms and shouted WOOHOO!!
A gorgeous buck that taped at 28” long x 16” girth with one of his ventral fins clipped. The fly was buried in his lower jaw and wasn’t coming out anytime soon. After a few pics, I continued holding him in the water to revive and he shot out into the river like a bullet.
That was it for me, my day and my trip had been nothing short of amazing. I took fishing gear off and my jacket and soaked up the warm sun while sat on a log and reflected about the whole week and how unbelievable it was. I didn’t fish for good two hrs just had fun watching and waiting for Dad and Eric to hook up.
Joe hooked up later in the afternoon and I helped him land a nice steely and that was it for the day. We actually thought it was going to be better with all the sun but it wasn’t to be.