ANOTHER 2 days on the shad bite and despite the cold weather (19F start Monday) we had a hoot. Fitz and Jim from Tx were another pair of old college buds in my boat second week in a row. They were part of a big group of college friends who fish together and who south out my mate Jimmy Traylor to put together 5 boats.
Fishing was a little slower than it had been on higher flows but Fitz caught this nice brown to lead the big fish pool on Day 1. If my arms had been 2″ longer we might have found Jim’s brown was even bigger, It looked 20-21″ as it rolled off the hook and swam home.
Day 2 Fitz swapped seats with Dave and did Dave have a hot hand. 4 fish on the first drift was the start and he kept whacking fish all day. Several 17″ and 18″ rainbows and smaller browns. Jim then pulled a ghetto-blaster and ipod and we had tunes. Jimmy Buffet, Willie and Toby Keith, U2, James Taylor. Not part of my normal guiding regime but it was a lot of fun. Funnily enough the fish size went up as. Thanks to Jimmy for inviting me along and to Jim, Fitz and Dave _ guys a great time. In Jim’s honor you get the music
Jim wasn’t missing out either with a nice brown of his own around 17″ followed up on Tuesday with a great 18 1/2″ brown. Jim was also absolutely buried by an unseen monster brown (by behaviour and attitude) underneath an infamous deadfall in the middle of the river. That was a fish we wanted bad.
The boys also banged a bunch of pig rainbows over the two days. Some of these fish were just round, bellies distended, stuffed full of shad. Dick, a dry fly addict like myself, actually caught a couple on top, big solid takes. But basically we were fishing deep, under Thingamabobbers. Jig patterns, John Barr’s Meat Whistle, and Zonkers did the trick.
Yesterday was a different story as we started at the Dam but were blown off the water by a massive shad kill. At first the fish were on the bite, and we were looking for even better fish. But the sheer volume of shad left our flies unmolested by the trout. We could have run downstream early in the “hatch” to stay ahead of the shad “plague”. But we were banking on a reduction in flow and shad like had been the pattern on the previous days. So we pulled out and trailered down stream.
This was where Dick’s hot hand paid off, finishing with 5 browns for the afternoon, the best that 23″ beast which had everyone fooled as a log. This fish was so strong and so tough it was incredible. It literally would not come off the bottom.
Some truly great memories and great company guys. Come back again.