Here at Steelhead Alley Outfitters, we fish with a myriad of anglers. Men, women, children, experienced, as well as the greenest of novices. That means that each day can present its own unique set of challenges, circumstances, but also good times.
One of my recent clients was Mike. He wasn't new to the fly fishing game, but he also wasn't the most experienced of those we fish with. It was a great day to be on the water and Mike capitalized on every chance he got.
Mike with his first fish of the day
It wasn't long after that first fish with Mike that we netted the most bizarre fish I have personally seen while guiding. Don't get me wrong, I have seen some really strange fish from other anglers, but never have I brought one to the net this strange...but he ate the fly. We dubbed it the reverse kype fish...ha, ha...
A very strange fish that took a fly...reverse kype?
All day long, Mike took charge and put an impressive number of fish in the net. Here are a couple more from his time on the water with us.
Mike hits a nice bright hen.
A beautiful pink stripe adorns this buck.
It just so happens that the next client was also named Mike. He came under very tough conditions, but still managed to get the skunk off for the day. He was happy with the nice buck he was able to land early in the day....as was I. Mike plans on coming back...this time with a vengeance.
Mike put this beautiful buck in the net first thing in the morning.
There is another classification of angler that we fish with and that is the kind that have fished extensively here at home and abroad. Parker and Conner are such anglers. We fish with them every season here on the Alley and on the Delaware out east. Their company is always a good time and each trip has some special memories to go along with it.
One of those memories was the morning that we had a dog that looked like White Fang follow us around. It was wild how this dog would sit on the opposite shore as if he wished he could stand in the river waving a stick. After some time of fishing opposite of him, we finally made it to his side of the creek and he was a friend for life.
White Fang is a fly angler at heart....he followed us all morning.
The day was slow to start given that it was the first day of fishable water following a major rain event, but when we found where the fish had gone, it didn't take long to get things cranking. Within minutes, Parker fired it up and the engine never shut down after that.
Parker with a stout hen on the day.
Let me introduce to you a you man named Conner. Conner is one of Parker's sons and quite possibly the best angler I know under the age of 25....and he's only 14 or so. Conner has great skills both on steelhead presentations and long lines for trout. Given the fact that he fishes every chance he gets, there is always that unspoken competition going between Dad and son.
It is alway entertaining to watch Parker start putting numbers on the board, because Conner won't stand by doing nothing for long...not if he can help it. Not long after Parker got his first in the bag, you could see the look in Conners eye. He was determined to get on the board and so that is exactly what he did.
Conner puts a nice fish of his own in the net
as his proud father Parker looks on.
Now, when I say that Conner is a great angler, I'm not kidding. This young man has more experience on the fly than many men three to four times his age. Here is a small Brown Trout that he landed this summer...yeah right! I don't know about you, but that is an impressive fish in my book!
Conner is quite the angler for his age...just check out this
monster Delaware River Brown Trout caught with SAO
guide John Miller this summer.
As soon as we hit the water, we got in a stick and move habit, grabbing fish where ever we could find them. Conner kept his Dad scrambling all day with fish after fish. I guess as a father, there is nothing else you would rather see. Although it can make for a very long drive home...
Conner hits another nice fish on the day.
The fish from above made for a very nice close up and personal shot with Conner. This is one of my personal favorites. It doesn't get any better than a happy young angler and a beautifully colored buck.
Conner with a nice close up shot.
While out on the day, this fresher hen decided to have a chicken dinner....a Chicken Little dinner that is. This fish slammed this home and came to hand with a smile.
Robinson's Chicken Little slams one home!
The day was great and the back and forth battle, although unspoken, continued to rage. Parker was strong on this day and kept his son running and gunning to keep up. However, Conner's go get em' attitude kept him in the game and despite the best attempts of dear old Dad, I think Conner came out on top. But not before Parker put a couple more fish of his own in the net.
Parker adds another to the number and keeps
Conner counting and trying to stay ahead
of dear old Dad.
Parker ends the day with a beautiful buck
with a nice kype and beautifully muted colors.
So, whether we have long timers or first timers, we always strive for one thing...a good time. On these few days, despite what the conditions may have been, we had great times...and we look forward to many, many more!
Until next time, keep your lines wet.
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters