If you sit down and think about it there probably has been a time where you have taken someone fishing. In most cases you likely spent more time helping or showing them what to do. In most cases they are new or unfamiliar with the fishery or the gear. Going as far as setting the rod up, showing them where to cast, giving tips, etc. or just taking them along and looking after them the whole time. At that time you are basically portraying a guide. I have been in this scenario the last half of dozen fishing trips. For me I enjoy it and that’s why I keep doing it. A few weeks ago while Steve-o was catching fish 8 states away I was floating the middle Yough. This was the first time I was able to float the Yough this year with out clients.
The night before we had one hell of a storm that put power out to a lot of people north and south of the Mason-Dixon. The storm brought much-needed water but by doing so it made the Yough into a dish washer. All the rising water began to turn everything up so for the first two hours of the float you saw a lot of debris, algae, and even that son of a bitch didymo floating down the river. Although once I got beyond the flats the water seemed better. Everything was settling at the flats. I did not fish much between the put in and the islands for those reasons except for one spot. I was on the water for maybe 20 minutes and I just could not wait any longer and had to break the spey rod out that I just built the week earlier.
I always had that urge to give spey fishing a try but never had that one thing to push me over the edge until about a month ago. Steve-o and his crew were out with Yasmine “my amazing wife” and I for the Beer and Gear Festival at Ohioplye. We decided to get some fishing in so we hiked up the river to take in a quick bug chucking experience. We started fishing a run where I knew the fish were holding on the right bank. No matter what I did I could not get my 9’6’’ 6wt. to the opposite side of the bank where I knew the fish were. Obviously, frustration set in because a few days earlier I had clients hook up with 4 fish in that run. As we were walking back to the rigs I knew I had to build the spey rod that had sat in the man cave for 3 years now.
Back to the trip, I broke the 12’8’’ 7 wt. out and decided to give it a go. I casted spey rods before and since then I really never have figured it all out completely. I was using a size 8 bugger and doing some 40 foot roll casts to get a feel for the rod and while doing so I missed a rainbow as I was swinging the fly. Ok must be presenting it alright. I dibble dabbled around with the spey the rest of the day going back and forth with the 9’6’’ 6 wt. I am the type of person that likes to learn things on my own but I can tell you right now I am going to have to watch a few DVD’s on spey casting techniques.
I made my way down to the first island passing up 3 different boats. They were beached in pretty good runs but I knew better runs were still to come. I floated by the second island where I was able to pick up a 14’’ bow on the drift. One of the many good things about the Yough is that you can fish while drifting in a one man pontoon boat. Although you need to watch hooking up with a fish right before a rapid, which can turn ugly real fast trust me I been to that rodeo.
I picked up a few more fish before I beached the raft for lunch. Lulu decided to eat pretty much all the pretzels and one of the PB&J so I was stuck with 1 sandwich, pretzel crumbs, and 1 cookie. As I was sitting there taking it all in I began to see rainbows taking what I think were emergers. They were breaking sub surface religiously so I gave the rest of the lunch to Lulu and tied on a tandem emerger rig. After a dozen casts and no hook up’s I re-rigged to a size 16 pheasant tail and a steroid emerger. Booyaa FISH ON! I landed the nice rainbow and went after the rest. Again another hook up, this time I got every bit of the fight and it threw me as I was in hands reach.
The rest of the day was mainly fishing nymphs and I was able to pick up fish everywhere I expected to. Lulu had a great day on the water and sneaked a few fish kisses in on a couple of rainbows. The middle Yough is still producing some good fish but try targeting the lower Yough for the small mouth fishing. My next blog will be a picture blog of a recent floatzilla.
The summer has been really busy for all of us here at Bug Chuckers Inc. and we apologize for getting behind on our blogs, pictures, and the fly of the month. Look for some new photos on our facebook page by the end of the weekend.