April 25, 2011
High Water, Reluctant Browns & Secret Weapon # 4
By John Merwin
One of the reasons why Field & Stream is such a great outdoor title--both in print and online--is because its editors and authors actually get out and do whatever it is they’re editing or writing about. That was my thought as I met Editor-in-Chief Anthony Licata and Special Projects Editor (and Whiteltail365 blogger) Dave Hurteau last week for some early-season trout fishing on the upper Delaware River near the New York/Pennsylvania border.
About the time Licata was into his first cup of coffee, he lifted his head, listening. “So what’s Dave yelling about?” he asked. We stepped outside our riverfront cabin to see Hurteau, fly rod deeply bent, struggling to keep a big brown trout from snagging his leader in the riverbank debris. The photo shows Hurteau on the rod at right, Licata with the net at left, and the brown trout leaping as it tries to escape. The trout, a big fat one, did not escape, but was shortly released after all the usual oohs and aahs and high-fives. Not to mention a deep sigh of relief from the lucky photographer, yours truly.
The trout fishing was a typical April deal in this part of the world: high. cold water; blustery and chilly weather; occasional rain; and trout that moved once in a while, but only reluctantly. We took a few fish on dries. A few on streamers. I even caught one on a jig. We did not catch a lot of trout on anything. As I said, typical April and typical of early-season trout fishing.
In answer to the inevitable question about the photo fish--”Whadja get ‘em on?”--the answer is this: Before Hurteau walked down to the riverbank, we consulted on what might work for the fish we’d seen rising off that little muddy point the day before. I gave him Secret Weapon #4, which you can read about here. Bounced along the bottom, that did the trick.
Beyond all that, we froze our respective butts fishing from driftboats out of the West Branch Resort , where I’ve been going for many years and highly recommend. And despite the cold, rain, and general misery, had a hell of a good time.