The word was that big fish were eating up high. As I reported in the last blog post, I was able to move some nice fish with Al a couple days before, but nothing worth writing home about. The rain has caused the river to bump, losing at least half of the clarity, and moving grass and debris down river. The boats that did go out headed up river, in search of cleaner water, and found that and more. The reports started coming in that folks were catching some exceptional trout above East Bank access. Al and I both went to the upper river yesterday (Friday) hoping that we might be able to join in the big fish hunt.
I put in around 11 am, anticipating that the water would need to warm up before the bugs and fish really began to move. In the first 10 minutes we had landed 3 fish, all brooke trout, and none over 15 inches. I had a single client who has been fishing with me for the past 12 years, and he throws a streamer really well. As the day progressed we managed to stick a few more brooke trout, missing only 2 good fish that we could see. The river was clearly on the rise while we were floating, and the sun was beating down on the water, making for tough fishing for the next few hours. By the time 4 PM rolled around the sun was behind the clouds, and the river had leveled out (judging by the amount of grass coming down). Ten miles into the float, and 10,000 casts later, we hooked into what turned out to be a 24 inch, male brown trout. The moment the fish was hooked he leapt out of the water, tail-walked right toward the boat, and we knew that we had tied into the fish of the day. The fish gave us hell for about 5 minutes, then finally let us get his head up and put him in the net. I handed the fish to my client and began searching for my camera, only to come to the unthinkable realization that I had left it in the truck in my rush to get on the water. As we both looked at this beautiful fish we knew that we were the only two people that were going to be able to appreciate him, so we gave him a kiss and sent him on his way, back into the Big Hole.
Some people wont believe me because I have no proof, some will take it with a grain of salt, but Roger and I will know the truth, and that is all that really matters. I figure, if I had remembered the camera I would have stopped to take a picture of something else during the float, and we would not have been in the same place, at that exact moment in time, and would have never had the privilege of holding that gorgeous specimen of a brown trout.