Its been a weekend of beer drinking and little sleep. Pangs of jealousy lingered with me throughout the weekend as I was forced to miss a quality Cape outing as a result of a graduation shindig I had promised to attend. Needless to say the party was mediocre at best and when I woke this morning at 6 a.m in the back of the 4-Runner in the streets of Farmington, I assesed my options for the day. I was hungover for the second morning in a row and I had to piss as bad as I could ever remember needing to before. As I threw on my pants and stepped barefoot into the street I noticed the cool smell of a cloudy morning. Despite how physically poor I felt I couldn't shake the thought of the rest of the guys casting to blitzing Stripers. A quick call to Lane proved that they were indeed on the water but had gotten a later than expected start (due to some alcohol related activities the night before no doubt). As I pulled into our driveway I was seriously contemplating gathering up my gear and getting on the water. Molly headed straight back to bed and I boldly perked a pot of coffee and slugged a concoction of Vitamin C, Advil, and water. In a groggy haze I gathered up my weapons and headed for the Sandy River.
With the Sandy essentially running through my backyard I often overlook it. I certainly hadn't given it as much respect this season, and my curiousity had peaked on Friday night when I had seen trout pegging the surface in a wild frenzy. I cruised to the section of river where I had witnessed the activity on Friday but the fish would not cooperate. After spending countless minutes snagged on trees behind me, and losing a half dozen flies I decided that a move was necessary. On the long slog back at the vehicle my hangover made its best attempt at putting an end to the expedition, but I was dead set on landing a fish.
As I pulled up to the River at my next stop, the sun was slowly working its way out and it was approaching 9 a.m. I figured that I was probably done for but had to give this bit of water a once over before throwing in the towel for good. I fished the west shore for an hour up and down the 300 yard stretch of rapids with only one strike coming at a most inoportune moment.
Frustrated but still not defeated I moved to the east shore and began dredging the lowest point in the rapids. Two casts with a green beadhead wolly bugger put a quality14" Brown on the line.The Sandy River skunk was off, and in the morning sun I managed a solid fist pump and a big smile. This beauty was promptly followed up by a rock solid 4" yellow perch that nearly emptied my 200 yards of backing; thankfully I turned him just before he got to the bend in the river.
I started to slowly work upstream on the east shore and was surprised by this 10" Brookie.
With renewed confidence and a receeding hangover I switched up to a white bugger and continued upriver. Several casts later an absolutely epic strike was followed by not only a solid hookup, but an aerial demonstration from a healthy 17" Brown. The fish came out of the water a half dozen times leaping and thrashing for all he was worth. I always forget how powerful a good sized Brown Trout is. I've always said that pound for pound a Rainbow puts up the strongest fight, but after this battle I was left wondering.
Tired and hungry, I walked away from the river satisfied.