Our host, above, is a classic fly fisherman in the truest and best sense of the word. Here he enjoys a moment with his guide, par excellence, Darren, before releasing this big brown back into the Delaware.
Below, high rod for the week, Gabe grins and grimly bears it. Below again, this is what fishing is all about, whether you have a day of catching or just a day of fishing. To the real fisherman, it doesn't really matter. You're there enjoying every part of the experience and that's what matters.
Most people who flyfish love the togetherness and comraderie, as well as the solitariness.
Having another woman join the group who loves to fish, is willing to learn and has a terrific sense of humor, makes the whole experience for me even better! It helps not to be so outnumbered.
As conditions on the Delaware River outside Hancock, New York on Thursday and Friday shaped up to be tough, almost brutal, at times because of heavy winds that just wouldn't quit, eight of us divided into two groups of four and set out with our guides for two branches of the river--the east and the west. My group of fishermen were on the west. Here Steve our guide adds tippet to the leader material.
Lunch with conservative fishermen, talking presidential politics. These guys are smart and savvy and not one of them thinks Hillary or Obama is electable this time around. But they all think Obama will bide his time for 2012. Ugh. As we chat over lunch, we also watch the water for rising trout.
Floating in a drift boat is the only way to cover lots of water on a big river like the Delaware. Often when you do this, the guide anchors the skiff and fishermen get out to wade and fish the riffles. Yesterday, however, with wind and water high, everyone mostly stayed in the boat.
Lots of fishtales before, during and after. And beaucoups of laughs and ribbing. Fishing humbles all of us and on top of that, you'd better be able to take a joke. No one is spar
The conditions of high winds were so tough for casting that few of us caught fish. I don't think anyone brought in more than one. I felt very fortunate indeed to have reeled in a 15 inch little brown trout and was the high rod of the day in our boat which wasn't saying much
We all fish catch-and-release and put every fish back into the water---and indeed never take the fish out of the water at all----to be caught again on another day
We took off the river at 9 pm and headed to a fishermen's local tavern where we talked and poor-mouthed until we were too tired to go on. Great fun and today we'll do it all over again.
And so far, early this morning from the cabin, it looks like the wind has died down. Oh, for a windless day on the river! But any day is better than most alternatives!
UPDATE: There was plenty of wind on the Delaware on Friday. And the river has earned my respect as one of the most difficult rivers in American to fish. It's hard to learn new things, but for sure, fishing the Delaware will make us all better, more patient fly fishermen and women.