After six long hours at the Farmington, I had landed only one fish. A very nice 6″ brown. Spots A was absolutely barren. Spot B yielded one take and the aforementioned fish. Very few bugs, the air was cold, and only a few rises in the morning.
As some midges popped off, I was hopeful for more activity. Nada. I had with me two fly rods, one for dries and the other for tightline nymphing. When the dries didn’t deliver, I switched. But, tightline nymphing didn’t produce either.
I don’t know about you, but when things are slow, I often catch myself getting a bit down. I feel like giving up. Instead, I decided to go to Spot C. In the past, I’ve forced myself to keep fishing, for, often, something good happens soon thereafter.
I saw my line tighten, and I set the hook. Immediately, I felt something heavy and a flash of orange. A brookie?
The fish just bore down and just bulled its way around. It took me down river, and so, I followed it. I’ve learned the hard way that when a big fish is on, you want to keep it up river from you, or the hook may pop off. Gradually, I used side pressure to ease it into calmer water.
That’s when I saw the tell tale marks of a brown. And, not just any brown. This one was huge and had a very pronounced kype. Of course, I immediately became nervous.
The fish came close to the net a few times, but then surged away each time. After many hours on the water, I now know how hard to max out on my tippet. I use fluorocarbon, and it really can handle a great deal of stress.
Also, thank goodness, I have seen the Jensens’ “Side Sweep” video. I’ve learned to use that technique when a big fish is on. It worked.
This ended up being a 22″ buck brown. My phone camera isn’t working that well, and the pictures don’t capture how gorgeously buttery-yellow-orange this fish’s belly looked. But, I’m glad I got some pictures.
This brown now is my personal best fish. My prior one was a 21″ brown, also at the Farmington.
Here is the summary:
Fish: male brown
Weight: 4.5 to 5 lbs., est.
Fly: #14 Perdigón fly (brown-olive thread with a very thin profile, fl. orange hot spot collar, Loon UV Thin Finish, jig hook, tungsten bead)
Method: tightline nymphing
Tippet: 6.5x fluorocarbon
Fly rod: 11′ 3-wt. Euro
Leader: very long
Water: 74 cfs, 65 °F
Last, many thanks to Brian from Westport, CT, for helping me with the picture taking!
What a day….