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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:23 pm • # 1 
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Joined: 08/13/10
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This is a true story and hopefully I can get my brother to come on here and comment.

For a long time My brother and I would get together at least once a year for some serious fishing. When we were doing this he was in Utah and I was in Upstate NY. We had been having a great year on the Delaware so we agreed he would fly in to Syracuse and stay with Mom and he could see her for a couple of hours over the 4 days he would be in town. I had been fishing the Delaware 3-4 days a week that summer so I had a good feel for the river. We were having a great Mayfly season. It started out with the Hendrickson's getting the fish in a feeding mood that would end up lasting the entire summer. From there we moved in the Sulfurs and man do those fish love sulfurs in every form. The spinner falls were particularly impressive. The West Branch where we would be fishing is all wild browns and is a catch and release fishery. This river and these fish have caused many a fisherman to take up golf.
      During the Hendrickson hatch I had found the home of a real bull. His home was on the far bank right up tight to a rock wall. The first time I saw him (I do know it's a he) rise to a bug MayFly a solid chill ran down my spine. I did the best I could to get into a good position but it was still going to take a 60' cast and a very nice drift to win him over. One of my dear friends and good fishing buddies was with me this day. He later told me he stopped fishing to watch the show. He always said he could tell when I had spotted a big fish, it seems I go into this cat like hunter mode. My five weight did a good job of dropping the fly and he eased up to my fly like me moving in on a T-Bone. When I lifted it was the largest explosion of water either of us had ever seen. Before I could even react he popped my 5x and returned to his home. I dropped my head, and when I stopped shaking I vowed we would meet again.
      We now go forward to September and I am doing some serious scouting to make sure my brother has a great trip. I make reservations at the Delaware River club. They have a nice little camp ground and to top things off Al Cucci, who owns the club, is often around to talk bugs, the river and the fish. The club is down river of most of my favorite pools but the drive is short to most of the river. I had noticed that Larger fish seemed to be moving up stream. It seemed early to be stacking up for the spawning runs but who am I to question.
         The weekend before my brother was to arrive my buddy Mike and I found a very large number of good fish in a long run. These fish were very actively feeding and were in the 16-22" range. We were drifting the secret weapon under right angle leaders and it was almost too easy. If memory serves me we netted at least 20 fish that day. It took some booming casts because the water was still up from dam discharges. At 700cfm the river is wadable but 5wts are the rod of choice.
        During the week before Todd was to arrive the river had been dropping and when I picked him up at the airport the river was down to 400. I was seriously excited for what could be an incredible weekend of fishing. From the airport we ran to Mom's house for kisses and hugs. After some lunch we went to my house to load up for the weekend. We were camping but there were steaks marinating, and all the other essentials of a fine weekend. We pulled in to the campground around 4pm and set up camp, it was hot and sticky. That would change very quickly. We picked up a few fish in the pool right in the campground but nothing like what I hoped we would find in the upper pools.
        Over night the temps dropped and clouds moved in. We hoped this would turn the fish into pre-spawn mode but had no idea how much this would really happen. We headed up the road to one of the pools I had scouted and hit a few fish but nothing like what I thought should be there. We were both puzzled and the conversation of them moving upstream came up. We loaded up and headed to one of my favorite places in the world.
         Todd had never seen this pool until that morning. This pool is more than 200yds long and in some places is 60yd wide. There wasn't another single person in sight. I guess I understand , it was late Sept, it was chilly and drizzly. This was perfect fall Brown Trout fishing weather. I look the pool over and nothing is going on. I suggest me stay with the right angle leader system but change to our lighter rods because this pool was almost glassy. Todd breaks out his 3wt and I pull out my beloved 2wt. If only we knew the workouts that were coming for the rods and us.
         We slowly wade into the river and start working the water close to us on the way to work the main flow. It wasn't five minutes and Todd's rod was doubled over and his reel was screaming for relief. We finally netted a very nice 20" brown with more colors than any fish has the right to bear. I hadn't taken 5 steps and he was into another fish, this one decided to look Todd eye to eye and it did so on more than one occasion. This fish was firmly convinced it was a Landlocked salmon. This fish even got into Todd's backing and it was a mere 19" fish.
           I hooked and landed a couple fo nice fish in the high teens and then I hear Todd's reel making I particularly high pitched scream. I look up stream to see his line ripping through the water and heading my way. I start laughing and reel up my fly. I asked him if he knew how to run on water as I headed towards him to see if I could offer any sympathy. That fish used every inch of that big pool but luckily stayed in it. When it was all done he had a beautiful 24" female wild Brown Trout in the net. Todd suggested that had to be one of the biggest trout he had ever had in a net. I grinned and agreed. I was so proud of him and so happy for him.
          I slowly waded down towards the rock wall. In this lower water I could reach it with my 2wt. This is one of those times where just because you can does not mean you should. I dropped my nymph a little up stream of where I thought he should be. Sure enough he was home. My indicator slipped under and I set the hook. The water quickly erupted, only this time I was prepared and I bowed to the king of the pool. I do believe he was honestly surprised to still have me in tow. He ran me ragged up and down that pool. This time my brother was laughing and mentioned he would be happy to net him if i ever get to that point. He also indicated that since it was going to be a while he would keep fishing. He did indeed hook and land a fish while I did my dance with this beast.
         Finally he was getting tied and Todd slid in below him and we netted him. He was the biggest river run Brown I had ever seen and still is. He was over 26" and looked like hadn't missed a meal since he hatched. The big hooked jaw and spawning colors were truly something to behold. I revived him and we watched him slide away to sulk. He had been beaten but only his pride was bruised. I hope he still lives there by that wall. Every so often I picture him gently rising to sip down a tiny sailboat majestically drifting over him.
         We headed back to camp that evening, showered and celebrated with some fast food take out. We had two more nights booked because they were offering a third night free. We both ached, our arms were sore and our hands were actually cramping slightly. It felt so good to feel this way due to all the fish we had gotten to take our fly. Yup we fished on pattern all day, oh we did indeed have to change them but we put on a fresh version of the same fly every time. Todd and I must have been thinking the same thing because almost at the same time we suggested heading home after fishing the next day.
           The next morning we both woke up sore but VERY happy. We packed up and headed back to our beloved pool. We were once again greeted by wonderful weather and no other fisherman. This days fishing was wonderful. It would however after the previous day be anticlimactic. We landed many fish in the upper teens and into the 20" range but nothing of magnitude we had seen the day before. Todd did find a pod of fish taking size 20 Blue Winged Olives right up tight to the bank in one spot. He drew a nice 18" fish out of that and it was most impressive to watch him stalk and finally land that fish. It was after all feeding in 6" of water.
          We didn't say much on the 2hr ride back to Syracuse but we did smile a great deal and exchange heart felt smiles with each other.

Since that trip many years past I have caught Steelhead over 30" and caught many nice Brown Trout on that same river. That Brown, the king of the pool,  and that trip will always hold a very special place in my heart. I don't know if it was putting my brother into such great fish or landing such a great fish with my best fishing Bud. What ever it is about that trip I am not sure it will ever be dropped a notch from number one. I guess Todd and I will have to keep trying to build an even better trip.

Maybe next year on the Tarpon flats we can finally out do this trip.

I hope you enjoyed this as much I enjoyed sharing it, Paul

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:59 pm • # 2 
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Joined: 06/19/15
Posts: 50
Location: Idaho
Great writing and it sounds like a hard trip to beat!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:58 am • # 3 
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Joined: 10/11/15
Posts: 410
Man..I felt like I was there. I could see it all happen. Thanks. There is nothing as rewarding as fishing with close family. :) Great story

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:47 pm • # 4 
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Joined: 08/31/15
Posts: 1017
Location: Coppell, TX
Thanks for the post; I enjoyed reading it.

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