Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunburns and Dry Flies

Tiredly I ran up the stairs hurrying to answer the phone call that was causing my obnoxious ringtone to sing as loud as it could.  I answered with a sloppy "hello" as I sat staring out the window using all the internal strength I had to peel my delicate eyelids apart from each other after a long nights sleep.  It was my great friend and mentor Steve Thrapp, asking if I could meet him at the river in twenty minutes.  Despite still wearing my shorts and crinkled T-shirt, and my hair being strewn in every which direction, I agreed, and the usual routine began.  I managed to piece together a decent array of clothing from what I had laying around my room, and before I knew it, I was headed out the door.  Thankfully, I keep all of my rods rigged and ready in the back of my car, so I could be on my way quickly.  Before I could take off, my dad reminded me to grab food and a drink.. something I often forget.

Upon arrival at the water,  I slid on my waders and boots, and as Steve pulled up, we shook hands and exchanged our latest fishing tales.  Chatting as we approached the water, one look down river revealed hundreds of rising fish throughout the many riffles and pools.  We split up, and began targeting fish as best we could.  After roughly an hour, I had only tempted a single fish, and Steve had raised a few others with none landed.  Frustrated, we headed upriver in search of other (hopefully) willing fish.

As Steve roped in one fish after another, I sat and watched a single rainbow as she fed rigorously in the heart of a shallow riffle.  I couldn't believe how intently she was feeding, as her mouth opened roughly every three seconds.  Rigged with a dry - dropper, I made a cast to the fish, and to my surprise, she took the midge dropper on the first drift.  The fight lasted roughly 30 seconds, and the fish soon laid at the bottom of my net.  After pictures, I carefully released the beautiful fish to fight another day.

For how rigorously this fish was feeding, she was awful thin!
Trekking further and further down-river, we finally found more fish, and Steve really began to teach them a lesson.  Steve has been and still is one of my greatest mentors, and he has taught me much about what I know today.  Every time I am able to fish with Steve I learn a ton, and it is always amazing to watch him as he dissects the water, and brings several fish to hand.  Steve is also the creator of the PIOPod, sold by Fishpond, and his care for the environment shows with every outing.  With seemingly every cast, Steve hooked up, and over the course of roughly 30 minutes, Steve landed a myriad of different fish.

As the sun began to set, we tried one last stretch, only hoping for a good fish.  Cast after cast produced nothing, until I managed to hook up with a decent rainbow as I swung the flies through the current.  After an intense battle,  I hoisted the fish for pictures, and released it swiftly to its watery home.

Sunburnt and tired,  I had to call it a day, and as we removed our waders, Steve and I shook hands before leaving.  With plans to do it again soon, we went our separate ways, and headed towards home.  It had been a tough day on the water (for me at least), but hey, I was glad to have gotten out. 


  1. Well, Jake, I learn as much from you as you do from me on these outings. (Seriously, folks, I wish I could spot fish like this guy!)
    Anyway, it's always fun to be with someone so young and so avid, and your kind comments warm the cockles of this crusty old heart.

  2. As much as I love fishing alone most of the time, those spent with your mentor are memorable. Nice post.

    1. Thanks Howard... Definitely a memorable day on the water.

  3. Looked like a pretty fun day on the water...sunburned and tired, not a bad way to end up.

    Well done sir...great piece!

    1. Yeah, I can't argue with that! Thanks Sanders!


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