The first fish I saw was much, much bigger than any I had seen in this stream before. So, of course, I spooked it like a newb. A testament to how little I've been fishing. It was at about this time that Jeff, Weston, Tom and Dad were set up and went straight to the 'best' spot I knew of right away while I played around downstream. I missed a couple of fish before managing to land a 21" male that spooked everything around, so I joined the others. They had seen some fish but still hadn't hooked up. They invited me to give it a shot and I quickly hooked and landed a nice fish which seem to reinvigorate their interest.
With a new fly and renewed confidence Jeff tried again and hooked into a large male, but lost it when he couldn't keep the slack under control. He was disappointed, but kept after it finally connecting with a nice brown that he played to the net. Later he told me that this was actually the biggest brown he'd ever caught at 18 inches. With evening coming on we decided to get a little scouting in for the hunt and located a group of bucks with a couple of potential "shooters".
Opening morning came with the plan to try and spot the bucks from the road and minimize the amount of walking needed to get into position on them with the hopes of getting Dad an opportunity. The bucks weren't too eager to show, so by mid-morning we were thinking about other options. Weston suggested walking up the draw where they were last spotted. We hadn't made it very far when Weston caught a glimpse of them cresting the hill and dropping into the next draw. We went cross draw after them and worked our way down into a good place to keep our eyes on everything. A decent 3 pointer showed, but Weston decided to pass. Just when thoughts of heading back to the truck started to creep into our minds some deer were spotted working their way over the hill on the opposite side of the next draw. Weston found a good rest and waited. A 4 point came out of the trees and Wes didn't hesitate to drop him. A couple of hunters were coming down the ridge which made us high-tail it towards the deer. Later at the check station Weston found out that this was a 4 year old buck.
Jeff just couldn't get those browns off his mind, so for the evening we elected to slip out and do some fishing. We tried some other spots, but the ones we had success in yesterday proved to be the most productive. Jeff managed to outdo his personal best brown again!
Good times hanging out with my family! The highlight of the trip for me was just talking in my Dad's trailer that evening and listening to everyone get caught up and joke around. Dad didn't end up getting a buck on this trip, but I don't think anyone would ever consider this trip anything but a success.
Hope you're as lucky,