...well, I guess maybe fishing for three days wouldn't be considered labor to most, but the hiking and practice casting and fighting strong winds today paid off for Ryan and I.
We started today by hiking into one of Sid and Craig's favorite "Dark and Foggy" spots. "It never dissapoints" they always remark, and they were correct today. We actually took "the road less traveled," and hiked in over some large hills, just so we could get some landscape photos from a different angle than we'd normally see the river.
Once we arrived to our put in point, we had a stretch to remember, where we caught 5 fish in about 1/2 hour, only because Ryan had to work to land one of the feistiest fish I've met out here. Ryan's casting improved about 1000% since he arrived and casted for the first time on Tuesday which was great. He caught two nice fish right away in the stretch.
While he'd been casting, I saw a rise up ahead, so I left him where he'd caught his first two, and had him continue up the bank, and I moved up to the next bend where I'd seen the rise and caught this beauty:
After landing that fish, I saw another great rise from the same pool, and Ryan proceeded to step in and catch this gorgeous fish, which he had to very smartly fight to keep from breaking him off on the bank:
After that, we traded off turns and I came up on this monster:
I was especially excited because I caught it on the 3wt rod that my friend Mike had repaired for me after I brought it back from Idaho last year in two pieces. Great job, Mike. It held up well to the brusier.
We caught a couple of other fish after that, and Ryan had a bunch hooked, but suffered some of the growing pains we all go through when we first start. Too much pressure...pop off...try to over compensate, and then lose the fish for not applying enough pressure. But, all comes with practice, and if it weren't for good casting and timing to set the hook at all, Ryan wouldn't have had the chance to lose them.
I've always been told, you catch the ones you're meant to catch, so those weren't meant to be for Ryan. But hopefully, he had a great week, and if he was 1/2 as excited to catch the fish as I was to watch him bring them to hand, then I'm sure he must have had a great time. I'm especially grateful to his girlfriend Megan, as it was her idea and prodding that got Ryan out here at the last minute.
I'm also glad to report that my Mom had her best day yet since her surgery, so fortunately, it turned out to be a great day for all of us. All in all, a really special day.