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Old 01-01-2013, 02:39 AM
rbaileydav rbaileydav is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Marietta GA
Posts: 130

Even us much as my overheated fishing lust was driving me, I stopped and took one irresistible picture of the meadow section of the stream that I had to walk past, I think it turned out pretty well after a little creative color filtering.

I always get a little paranoid when I take my first few casts into water that I love but haven’t fished in a long time, I get worried that the fish won’t be there or they won’t be as spectacular as I remember. We have all heard stories about streams that just seemed to get fished out or just die out for some reason. So I smiled and laughed to myself when I saw several large fish holding right where I thought they should be. There were several smaller fish in the bottom feeding lies but I wanted one of the big ones and I was afraid that catching one of the little ones might spoke the hole, so for tonight only, I cheated and worked my way around into position so I could make my first cast right for a clean drift over those larger shadows. The cast dropped in cleanly and the soon the dry seemed to pause mid current and I instinctively set the hook. When I did a large cream sided cuttbow thrashed and flashed in the current, then ran heavily upstream peeling line like a runaway freight train. I was able to get my rod tip way up which brought the line out of the water and off the rocks so I just hung on softly and let the fish run. I knew there wasn’t much room up there anyway and sure enough the fish turned at the top of the hole and slid back into the deep water at the base of the cliff. I was able to get the line back on the reel and the fish under tight tension and control. A big fish on the first cast of a trip in a setting breathtakingly beautiful … … well as they say I was “happier than a pig in ****”. I glanced up and could see Rick and Bernard still standing in the campsite at the top of the cliff, chatting and having a smoke. They were lost in the beauty of the scenery and their conversation, so I started to yell up at them but backed off as I was afraid of the sudden fish god karma shift if I called up before the fish was in hand, so I played the fish for a little while longer until I had him sliding along the top of the current almost ready to land and I couldn’t stand it any longer, I wanted them to share in this first fish of the trip real bad …. … and yeah maybe to brag a little too … … so I yelled up at them and they ambled over to the cliffs edge to watch me land this beauty. And sure enough just as I had predicted as soon as they got a good look at me, the bent rod and beautiful fish still struggling in the current … … I heard a whoop from them … … and almost simultaneously that savagely disappointing feeling of a fly popping free from a good fish’s mouth. Sure enough the fishing gods had taken their karma revenge … … and it hadn’t taken but two heart beats to do it. I cussed a few times to myself and then just started laughing and smiling like an idiot … … first cast, a beauty of a fish, within a few feet of my hand, and my son and my friend standing on a cliff to watch… … in a stream I thought I would never be able to hike into again … … any way you slice it … … life is pretty **** good. I recovered eventually and put a few more casts into the same pool, landing a beautiful brookie which managed to knock the skunk of this trip officially.

I fished for about 45 more minutes catching a few more fish but not really lighting it up, but not really trying that hard either. I had caught enough fish to know that they next day’s fishing would be phenomenal.

It was nearly dark when I got back to camp. We boiled camp meals for dinner and had a sip or two of bourbon by the firelight. Bernard and I were both pretty worn out and hit the sleeping bags early while Rick sat by the fire and listened to some music. It was amazing to lie in my tent and listen to him playing his music … … because it was my music. What he was sitting up listening to by himself was the same songs and albums that I would have picked out for myself … … Jimmy Buffett, Grayson Capps, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard and he even threw some Marty Robbins and Michael Martin Murphy in there as well.

I woke to a beautiful but cold morning. The morning sun was just peeking into the valley and it was as pretty as a picture … … so I took some.

We wolfed down breakfast and I threw some water and tuna fish into my vest and headed out for a long day of fishing and hopefully a great day of fishing … … but is there any other kind. We had split the river into three sections with Ricky taking the hike into the upper reaches, me fishing the meadow and Bernard heading down to the lake and working the canyon section. I headed back to the same hole at the cliffs right below the tent. I saw several fish and one that looked like a mirror of the cuttbow I had lost the evening before, but I forced myself to take my time and fish the whole hole like it deserved to be fished, instead of trying to cherry pick individual fish. I picked up two nice brookies out of the bottom feeding lies, in the flat water at the back of the hole. The second one spooked the shallow water and several fish moved up into the deep water at the head of the cliff, including the shadow that I thought might be “my” cuttbow or at a minimum its mirror image. I figured it would be tough to get down deep enough to get them now, but I am always willing to try and drifted cast after cast through the hole with no response. I was making one last cast and reeling up while walking forward when suddenly I came up tight to a heavy weight. I at first thought I was hung up and gave a solid rolling forward flick, instantly followed by a hard pop upward hoping it would shake free and almost wet my pants when I felt a head shake in response… … fish on… … sometimes luck beats skill … … which works for me because I have a lot more luck than skill. The fish ran and I managed to get over my shock and get some line back off the reel to feed to the fish. The fight was fast and furious and soon enough I was able to slide a beautiful cream colored slab of a cuttbow into my hand for a nice photo op.

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