The Queen of the Sucker Fish

Monday I took it upon myself to use one of my PTO days for an extended long weekend to celebrate the Royal Treatment Fly Fishing Cinco de Mayo fishing-a-long on the lower Deschutes with our generous hosts Joel La Follette (the Boss), Mr. Skittles, and of course, the Fly Czar.

Wow, wow and even more wows!!! I have so many flashbacks, fits of laughter, times of frustration, fist bumps, and high fives! Memories of this past weekend and its fishing escapades keep coming in waves.

At the end of the day it comes down to this... there are plenty of fish in the Lower D. For the seasoned fly angler it may have been a little frustrating with the majority of the fish being brought to a net, but for this fly-fishing 3rd grader it was a BLAST!!! I have crowned myself as the Queen of the Sucker Fish!!! The first was straight out front of camp at Beaver Tail with Merman as my gillie!!! Big fist bump and I'm pretty sure that was my biggest fish I had caught on the fly to date...until Monday when I got to float the from Beavertail to Max with Mr. Skittles and The Stig.

Monday, oh Monday... 9 hours of floating!!! Mr. SKITTLES started off with 2 or 3 red bands straight off the bat when we pulled over for the first riffle heading down river. Then The Stig was on it, one after the other. I was their personal cheering squad and at the same time quietly cursing, not understanding how they were nailing it with the Czech Nymphing and I was just getting snags and frustrated. That was until I literally caught the smallest baby trout you have ever seen caught... I mean micro... I mean the nymph I caught it on was bigger than its head! From that point on my spirits rose and people, I WAS ON THE BOARD!!!

We floated for miles and I had caught a handful of smolt...big, little, micro...all smolt until I caught something big and it wanted to dance. It was a screamer...and on a nymph set up with a bobber...and a dragless reel, which I had never used...needless to say I may have palmed it a little too hard and lost it. To say it GUTTED me was an understatement. The look on Mr. Skittles face after he saw the look on my face said it all. This was fish grief...

Not one to harbor resentment and beat myself up it was time to get back in the boat and down the river... to Brian Silvey's lunch spot!!! This place looked like an Oasis, absolutely gorgeous...and it felt really fishy!!!

So, back to the nymphing on the bobber... swing after swing and then a big dirty snag. I tried all I could to not lose another setup. I walked upstream, downstream, at it, away from it and then BAM, it ran from me!!! I had a fish!!! Coach Skittles was at my side, walking me through the dragless set up for another go... all I could think of was HOT LAVA/DON'T TOUCH THE REEL/LET IT RUN!!! Coach Skittles was the best, shouting out tips and then apologizing for yelling at me (which he wasn't.) About 2 1/2 minutes later we got my fish in the net. It was another Sucker... the mightiest of Suckers and it was all ours and I couldn't have been happier right at that moment in time!!!

Small dog had even jumped to shore and leapt onto a big boulder in the water as if to cheer me on. I had my squad, and it really was a day to remember!!!

I feel like I've graduated to 4th grade!

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