Fall is my favorite time of year being a streamer guy.
It has been a good year for my buddy Sage and I chasing big fish. We have fished for years together, all over the West, and hadn’t broken the true 2 foot club. We weeded through a lot of 19-22 inch fish but struggled making the jump.
After netting just shy of a 30 inch Rainbow / Landlocked Steelhead in February we were happy to have experienced such an awesome fish. We continued to spend countless hours out of the drift boat as well as putting miles on our boots looking for that same caliber Brown.
We had seen monster Browns getting posted all over social media and knew it was time to load up the streamer bags and put a long day in. We started with our usual 4 A.M. meet up with Maverick Coffee and Rockstars (thanks Figgins) and we set out.
Per usual, we showed up too early and it was dark and scary cold. My damp boots from Weber water the night before were locked up from ice from riding in the back of the truck (I couldn’t have been happier to sit in the warm truck for an extra 10 minutes letting them thaw out.) During our usual small road trip talk, which gets crazier from road trip to road trip, we started talking about Nelly the rapper. We started bumping old school Nelly tracks trying to get pumped to tackle the freezing weather. Following some “Shake Ya Tailfeather” we set out to battle frozen guides and fingers.
The first hour was miserable! We both struggled handling our wet lines and we had to take turns tackling runs with below average casts while the other warmed his hands up, well tried to warm their hands. It was a slow first hour and I finally banged a stout 20+ Rainbow. He asked if I wanted a picture as I was trying to unbutton him without getting my hands too wet. I graciously declined thinking about keeping my hands dry.
It started warming up, still under freezing, but we both were feeling a sudden burst of energy as the sun hit us. We both were making better casts and both had quality casts and streamers running at the same time. We maintain an awesome streamer pace together and leap frog each other like a fine tuned machine. We messed around on a big, deep, slow bend and had little fish chasing us in every cast. Sage kept working the slow bend and I looked up a saw some promising water just a few hundred feet ahead. I gave my hands the old fashioned “blow for warmth” and ditched Sage. I gave my streamer a dip in the water approaching the run to thaw it out and make sure it was swimmy. I put a perfect cast in the top corner of a promising run and had a monster brown roll on my streamer dropping into the main current. I gave her a steady set and she headed straight to the bottom dictating exactly what she wanted to do! Knowing it was a Brown we had set out for. I yelled “Help” and Sage came running with the net. I stripped in our first 2+ foot Brown and we both were ecstatic.
The jump from a 22” inch Brown to a 26”+ Brown was noticeable. She was healthy and my Galloup’s Barely Legal pissed her off enough to want to kill it.
Until the next one, I always love hitting the water and road tripping with Sage and am working on burning a Nelly CD to continue the good luck tradition.