Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Buster Wants to Fish!"

     Ok so maybe it wasn't as comical as that scene from "A River Runs Through It", but when my brother finally asked me to take him out fly fishing, the thought did pass through my mind. 

     I have been waiting patiently for the day when my brother actually had the time to get out on the water with me.  We have had many adventures over the years together, but we just never seemed to line up our schedules for a real fly fishing trip.  Well a few weeks ago it happened.  Lance was able to get up to Pittsburg and I did not have a guide trip, so we went for it!  After gearing up at the camp and making sure that he did indeed have a fishing license, (which we had to reprint at Treats and Treasures), we were off to the river! 
     The situation was classic.  The anticipation of all the fish I would be able to help him catch was finally coming into sight!  You see, I have been telling him for years how he would be catching fish after fish and how my clients have been having great days lately.  In my head it was going to be easy.  I guess that was my first mistake.  I should have known better, as teaching a family member is always one of the trickiest things to do. 
     Now I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  He caught fish.  It just took us a bit longer to make it happen than I had initially thought it might.  We started off in the "Bear Pool" which had been producing quite well as of late, and after an hour of fishing had only one fish on that came unbuttoned before we could get it to net.  It was certainly not the fisherman's fault either.  His hook sets were quick and strong, his presentation was dang near flawless, but the fish were being fish.  Subtle takes and short strikes were the theme of the day.  We couldn't just have one of those afternoons where the fish were just slamming the flies to make it easy?!  Nope.  But that is fishing. 
     We kept moving down river and finally got into a couple of runs where the fish were doing their normal feeding and what a difference.  Lance was hooking up and we were landing fish!  Now I do remember his first fish that he landed and I do remember the big battle with a monster that got away.  But most of all I remember the things in between.  I remember how I was looking forward to that day.  I remember how we hiked through the woods from pool to pool and how we talked about fly fishing and life in general.  I remember thinking we should do this more often.  I remember the feeling that not everyone gets to share an afternoon on the water with their brother doing their favorite pastime and how lucky we were to have had that opportunity. 
     The day came to a close and we headed back to the camp for some food and drinks.  All I am left with now is that fond memory and the anticipation of the next time that we can venture back into the river as brothers.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pittsburg Magic...

Hello Everyone!

     I have been in Pittsburg for over two weeks now and I can already feel the frustrations of living "down below" slowly leaving my soul.  My thoughts are clear, my energy is revived and my way of life is back to who I truly am.  I have been extremely fortunate to have found a fiancĂ© who has the same love of the outdoors that I do and have recently gotten her to join me on the river.  She is a quick learner and very simply, a natural fly fisherman.  You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle themselves on a river and she does not disappoint me in any way.

     I was actually able to get my father out of his beloved "Trophy Stretch" and he was rewarded for it!  We went a bit farther south and got into some larger fish rather than numbers of fish.  First up was a nice 17" fat brown to tie my father's personal record brown trout.  This would have been plenty of fun for the morning but he was not finished yet.  One hour from the remarkable first trout, my father hooked a much larger beast.  After a great battle he now had his new personal best brown trout measured at 20" and pushing 5 lbs for sure.  Needless to say I think that he may be spending a bit more time away from The Trophy Stretch in the near future. 

     I am in "full guiding mode" at the moment as well.  We had the annual Trout Unlimited Kid's Fly Fishing Camp about a week ago and it went very smoothly.  I was the assistant director of the camp for the first two years it was held and now I am able to just be a counselor and guide for the kids.  Next years camp will be the 10th annual!  This camp is something I hold very dear to my heart and will be a part of it in some way for the rest of my life.
     I was able to have some of my good friends up to camp during last week as well.  We were able to share many good laughs, good drinks and good meals which always seem to make time fly faster than you would want.  These times are replaced by great memories though, which will stay with us forever.  We also got out on the river one evening and it was one of the best nights I have ever had!  After watching patiently for a caddis hatch to materialize for over an hour, the bugs were enticing enough for some large fish to start feeding on the surface.  I positioned myself carefully and waited for the larger fish to get comfortable with his meal.  After many large swirls, I cast out my size 16 "Murphy Caddis", (pattern created by my buddy Jake), and watched it drift.  The whole time I was hoping that when I tied the fly the night before, that it would look good enough to fool a large, smart fish.  Well, on the first cast the fly was thrashed hard by a very large fish.  I set the hook hard, but carefully, knowing that my 6x tippet would not handle excessive abuse.  After a long battle, filled with leaps and powerful runs down river, we had corralled the beast into the net.  Without the help of my friend Jake, the end result may have been utter disappointment rather than pure elation and I am very thankful for his help.  What we found in the net was my largest brown trout caught on a dry fly, on 6x tippet of my entire life!  It measured 22" and was estimated at 7+ lbs.   Pittsburg Magic is alive and well this summer!
      This is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a great summer in Pittsburg!  
                     I hope this update finds you happy and full of fish stories!
* If you would like to get up and experience some Pittsburg fly fishing, I do still have some open dates.  Please email me for my full availability and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!