September 20, 2021 – Monday with LIFR
The morning session is full when I email Ted so I take the mid-day. I think I prefer mid-day anyway this time of year because I get to wake up without an alarm, not that the alarm ever wakes me up, I always seem to wake 5 minutes before it is due to go off. Rich is collecting the money as Ted had to leave.
He is chatting with a fellow I don’t know when another pulls in. Rich asks his name to check it against the list and he says Mark. I look up as I have not seen him in about 5 years. Last time was at a fly tying session at Campsite before he quit doing that. He was busy with other ventures such as a trailer upstate which he invited me to visit.
He says hello and tells me he moved to Jamesport. He comments on my rod and I let him get the feel of it. He asks who made it and I say Charles. We catch up on things and both mention that we are sorry we lost touch and haven’t fished together. That is the way life can be.
I took a look at Deep Water Pond, Beat 20A (Top Photo), to see how it is faring since they cleaned it up last spring. Weeds have taken hold which is expected given the heat of this summer and the slow flow combined with shallow depth. Looking up the pond the water is clear.
I decide to go up river which means no waders and a long handled net. I pull on my boat boots that look like cheap Wellingtons as Rich tells me he had a nice one on Beat 21. I tie on the Renegade I used upstate as it is on the patch. I refiled all the others that were stored there.
I get a nice hit but no hook up. Smile and keep walking. I take a few flips while sight fishing my way up but they are spooky. At 24 on a blind cast I watch as a good fish darts from under the near bank across the stream and grabs my fly, turning to return to his lie. Wham. He puts up a good fight and I miss him 3 times with the net. He seems to know to dive under it each time. Lucky the fly came out once in the net and I was able to revive and release him untouched and in good shape. On my knees already, I say Thanks. My day is a success, it was that good a fish. Watching him move across the stream and grab the fly was the ultimate result for a hunting cast for me.
I flip a few at 25 and 26 to no avail and move on to lower 27 where fish come up in a number of different places but I fail to make the connection. Time to rest this spot.
Moving up to 28 I get reactions without hook ups. I know I should make a fly change and maybe a leader adjustment but am lazy about it and continue to try to get this fly to do the job. Nice to see the fish so active. Summer will be over in two days but I think they already have moved on to Fall mode.
After a while of this I look upstream and a fellow who has been hop scotching with me on the way up is standing in the stream at 29. Not supposed to wade here. I don’t want to be the river police so I turn back to upper 27 and am well rewarded for it. I have a good one on the Renegade but then lost it in the bush over by the spillway along with the 6x tippet. Again being lazy I don’t replace the tippet and tie a Joe Stack on to the 5x – it is still a 9 foot leader.
The tree over this platform was either pruned or the storm took some of the branches that made casting such a challenge. I can get a good false cast to the left now and don’t have to rely on roll or water loaded casts. I let the Joe Stack move with the main flow and slide over to the side at the end. I twitch it as it sinks and then strip it in like it was a streamer – and a huge wake comes up behind it but doesn’t bite. Wow.
I try the other side, across the flow, and get a hit. Another good fish who plays for a while and then is off. I am relieved of having to net him. A good thing. I work the area a number of different ways, long and short, in the flow and out. I get tired of hooking fish and move back to try 28 again with the amazing Joe Stack.
They are still not interested and my alarm goes off meaning I have 45 minutes to get back to the car. I flip a few more at the lower beats as I walk down having changed to a LaFontaine Caddis.
Back at the Rainbow Bridge Rich is watching Mark play with big fish that like his flies. He had come upstream to find me but got to the gate and turned around. I told him I was about 30 yards further up. Next time maybe we will finally fish together.
A nice day on the river and good to see an old friend.