Today was a study in contrasts: Jim and his host Jeff hooked up on Jeff’s first cast with the buck sucking in a chartruese and nuke egg. The fish were active, fresh, and hookups were no problem. Jim, Jeff’s former pastor and good friend, is a small creek brookie guy so hanging on to teenager-sized Kings with a single action reel for the first time was an adventure. He did a great job, though, bringing a 16-18 lb. male to the net, only to have his guide commit the cardinal transgression. After numerous conventional netting attempts and our having trouble getting the fish to the surface, I ill-advisedly decided to take a spear shot at Jim’s fish. Into the net, out of the net, wrapped around the transom, and then—when I committed sin #2—a fly imbedded in my index finger and net flipped over the side and fish lost! Hawk-eyed Jeff, though, spotted the net making its way downstream and hooked it with my boat cover support pole. He finished his crisis management by Band-Aiding his guide! What a trip! Sorry, Jim, for muffing your big King. Suffice it to say, your guide will squelch any urge to spear in the future!
Following good action in the morning, the bite began to go South by lunch: drift after drift yielded no mouth takes. Whether it was a rapid drop in water level with its attendant increased water clarity or simply fishing pressure—who knows? Nonetheless, the guys kept working the fish right up to pulling lines time.
Both avid outdoorsmen, Jim and Jeff were gracious guests, and I enjoyed my day with them very much. Fishing and hunting stories were the order of the day with Jeff heading to South Dakota next week for ringnecks and Jim heading to Montana for a whitetail/mule deer hunt. Pictured is Jeff with his first-cast buck and the two buddies over lunch. Thanks guys! Best of luck afield.
Captain Tom Kuieck