White River Welcome For April Vokey
THE cast splashed down deep into a nook in the bank, right where it needed to land, the mass of wool, marabou and steel composing itself into something fishy enough to attract the interest of the Lord of the Eddy. The fly sashayed its way out into the current, a BIG shadow below and astern and closing. It was about this time I lost my guide cool.
“Strip April, Strip, Faster Strip, Strip Strip,” echoed across the water in an Aussie accent _ it would only be later that we got the giggles, as we were both intent on that fish, the one we were after, tracking the fly out further and further, into the current, and right up to the stern. Here I though it would have turned away, but now it followed all the way to the rod tip. This brown was not boat shy.
How big? I’m a chronic under estimater when it comes to fish in the water, but it had mid-20s length and big girth probably 10+ maybe more, it doesn’t really matter. April’s eyes were huge, and words were coming in a rush. ” I didn’t know trout could be so predatory. Wow they aren’t like rainbow’s at all.”
And this wasn’t the only monster brown we would meet.
I knew of the April Vokey internet sensation, Simms calendar pin up, fly fishing ubiquitous “hot chick”, television presenter, and the subject of a popular Facebook group “I want to fish with April Vokey”. All others opinions based on a few photos, gorgeous though they are. Since I’d heard she was going to be in the area, I started a little research which lit a fire to get her connected to a White River trophy brown.
Far from an internet creation, the real April Vokey guides steelhead in British Columbia, running rivers and offshore. Here was a person crazy enough not not only go trout fishing just after emerging from hospital with 3 screws in her foot courtesy of a major car wreck, but heck doing it out in the back of beyond, and had to lug a film camera.
Here was a fish rat crazy enough to cast monster streamers in the Arkansas humidity all day for the crack at a trophy brown. She casts better than I do single handed, and Im trying to work a trade for her to teach me Spey. In short as they say April’s “bonafide” and a kindred spirit. Even better she and Bec hit it off a treat, to the point where April could harass me about my word selection when that monster brown chased that fly.
“If only we could get him to stop asking me to take my clothes off.” The girls were shaking with hysterics, and Im scrabbling to defend myself. Ratbags the pair of them.
Sometimes its the friends you make on the water that overshadows everything else.
But I badly wanted to get her her first brown trout, and a big one at that. We fished hard in all the zones that have been producing, for a handful of rainbows, a few better smacks and quite a few trees.
Then as the day faded I picked up a stick to try and help focus our efforts, running a big Zoo Cougar, trying to stir up a fish. And then I found an aggressive feeder, a big yellow slash shining gold as it missed my fly. I retied the yellow Zoo Cougar onto April’s rig and ran back upstream for another pass.
Damn I was thinking its gone as we floated over the zone. The I heard April say softly “I’m on”, her 6wt bend hard.It had to be a brown, head down and doggedly pushing towards the tree line. She held that effort and we worked the fish to the middle of the river. I think I took a breathe at this point thinking now we had a good shot, when mysteriously everything went slack. Those big browns have mouths of bone and a secure hookset is hard to achieve.
That’s fishing. Nope I didn’t come away with a pic of “The April Vokey” holding a big brown, but Bec and I had a really cool couple of days fishing and yaking and laughing with April, Colby the St Bernard/Coonhound cross, and her friends Adam, Phil and Dalton. There’s always a shot at another big fish _ oh yeh she’s coming back and we are due _ but kindred spirits are a greater treasure.
This entry was posted on July 13, 2009 by Steve. It was filed under guided flyfishing, Reports, Trips, White River and was tagged with April Vokey, brown trout, fly casting, fly fishing, Fly Tying, steelhead, White River.