A snag, damn! I kept my line taught as I paddled over to my snagged flies, hoping they would come loose. I reached out with my fly rod and felt my flies come loose, but only for a second. I felt another snag and wrenched on my fly, frustrated. And that’s when it started to fight back.
“A FISH!” I yelled as my line started racing away. Lucky duck, I thought as I brought in another fish relatively quickly, because the fish was so close to begin with.
I was unaware that the wind had picked up and blown me further away from my previous spot while I was snapping pictures of my fish. It always amazes me how unaware I become of everything else when there’s a fish in my hands.
When I looked up, I noticed that I was close to Terri.
“How are you doing?” I yelled over to him.
“I’ve caught about eight so far! How about you?”
“Two for me.” I said back to him, adding, “Are you still using the California leech?”
Terri couldn’t reply, because just when I asked a fish took his fly!
“Was your GoPro on?” I asked as he released his fish.
“Nope. Every time I turn it on, I don’t get a fish… So I just leave it off.” he said, matter-of-factly.
“Good choice.” I said, as I was retrieving my line, and felt it pull away from me. I locked the line down with my finger, and set the hook on a fish. Splash! Splash! The fish leapt out of the water over and over. It made a run towards Terri, who just watched as the fish jumped out of the water, inches from his face.
“I should have had my GoPro on!” Terri yelled as I brought the fish into my net.
“I almost thought that fish was going to land in your float tube!” I said to Terri.
“So did I.” Terri said, adding, “I could have caught it in the air… if I was fast enough.”
Terri kicked away as I went back to fishing. The wind had picked up hard enough that if I was to stop paddling, I would end up blowing away.
Casting in between wind gusts, I was stripping my line in slowly when I felt the hit of a fish! The wind whistled through my taught fly line as the weight of the fish tugged at my rod. I pulled in some line, but the fish ripped it back out. My reel screamed as the fish ran, but I was fighting back, keeping the fish from having the leverage. It’s a nice fish, it has to be… I thought as I brought it in closer; or it’s snagged… this dreaded thought always crosses my mind. The fish was close, but running deep. My fly rod looked like a horseshoe as I applied the torque to raise the fish from the depths. The large flash of chrome I saw as the fish got closer to the surface confirmed I had the fish in the mouth, and that it was a nice sized fish. My net slipped under the fish, and it was now apparent that I had a football for a fish!
White caps lapped over the water as I worked my way back to Terri’s truck. Terri was working a cove, trying to keep out of the wind. With the roar of the wind, I could hardly hear him yelling at me.
“Have you had enough fun for one day?!”
“I think so!” I yelled back. Terri paddled his way back, and we both got out and walked back to the truck a little sore.
“You’re getting old!” Terri said, as he also hobbled back to the truck.
“You really nailed them today, Terri.” I said to him, as we got into the truck. The day treated us okay, as far as fish are concerned, but it really slowed down at the end of the day.
“I think I caught six more fish that you did today!” He said, smiling at me.
“Not that anyone is counting…” I said back to Terri. We drove home exhausted from paddling in the wind, and with sunburnt faces. Having a sunburn that covers only the middle portion of your face is an all-to-familiar sign of a serious neglect of sunscreen; still, we wore them proudly.