Ah yes, every once in a while the Gods do shine down and grant Big Daddy Jimmy a day on the river. Not just any river, the West Branch and Main Stem.
Not just any guide. The best darn guide a young boy can have, Ben Turpin.
We put in at Balls Eddy and floated to Buckingham. Over the course of the day, we literally saw just one other drift boat.
We got into a steady, if unprolific, hatch of Cahills over a few hours and I managed a few nice fish.
The largest was a 20" brown which came on a #18 PT nymph. He came wheil we nymphed some fast riffles as the boat moved through them. The fish jumped like I lit his ass on fire.
He wasnt the fish I was the most proud of though.
That award went to a brown that I saw rising on a bank in shallower water on the West Branch. I saw her come up, and thought she might be good. Its the smaller dimples that excite you, because you know those fish are the ones that matter. They are much more controlled in their rises so to speak.
The next time she rose, I was able to see her so well, I could tell the distance between her dorsal and caudal fins and I knew I wanted that fish. Ben told me to get out and wade to it, so I did. I got about five fet up from her and about 25 feet away. I threw a down wing cahill emerger in size 14 via a well placed reach cast. I fed line as it washed down into her lane and she didnt hesitate. Slurp. Game on. She fought well and we measured her at about 17". It really rocks when you put it all together.
On a side note, I used my backsaver on the trip as you can see from the pics. It really did help. My back wasnt killing me in the morning after standing for 12 hours.
We had a real slow period from 3:30 to about 7pm where things just kind of ground to a halt.
The main stem had no bugs for a while. We did see this guy though. He just sat there thinking "What are you going to do about it?" I wondered if he was going to drop a father day gift down into the boat, but he spared us.
When we finally made it to Buckingham, there were bugs again and therefore more fish. I hooked into one and it felt like a nice fish, but it managed to come unpinned without me having a chance to see it.
Anyway you slice it, it was a great day on one of the East coast's finest rivers.
On a side note, I think Rich Tullo should consider a hat like mine. For some reason, I see him in a cowboy hat hanging out at a Honky Tonk. He looks like an extra from a bar scene in "Every Which way but Loose," trading punches with Clint Eastwood. I think its the side burns.
Thats just one man's opinion.