A friend of mine recently posted that he was trying to figure out how to get away from his wife to go fishing. I posted “TAKE HER WITH YOU!” Why wouldn’t you? The best times you ever have can be spent together – fishing. This past weekend, I have to admit that Hank and I spent some GREAT quality time together. We were thankful to have our three-day weekend free with no work and nothing to stop us from hitting the river for some float fishing.
The season for float fishing is not very long in our little town. Some years the season is early and others it is late. This year it happened just right, and we had time to blow up the raft and get our fly rods out. Hank and I spent three days on the water and watched as it went from good to better. Hank was patient as I got the swing back in my cast and tried not to decorate too many trees with my bugs. Once my rig floated along as we drifted and then the tip jiggled. I yanked and set the hook. I jumped up and down as my rod tip sank and then I slowly drug in…. wait for it! Wait for it! A little stick! I drug into the boat and cleaned off my fly then we chuckled about how it faked me out. We laughed as I caught my first “fish.” We continued, floated along, and held our breaths as we moved a few fish that didn’t take my fly.
Changing fly rigs a couple of times and replacing the ones I left in the trees, I finally got it right. I was casting well and hitting almost every hole as we floated by and then WHAM! A hard hit! It yanked my rod, and it jerked left to right. I let out a little drag and then stripped some in. All the while Hank was maneuvering the raft trying to help me land this monster fish. I held my rod up, and the tip bent down toward the river bottom. More drag let out. More stripping in! What a fight! Finally, he aired out, and I saw it was a beautiful brown trout. I did my best and worked him in. Finally, landing him.
Hank was proud as I jumped up and down…. gently mind you because I had a beautiful, delicate creature in my hands. I had the biggest smile anyone had ever seen because this was the biggest brown I had ever landed. I quickly said take his picture! Hank couldn’t find the camera, and I couldn’t hold onto him for long, so I gently placed him back in the river and watched as the “Big Brown” swam away. Wow! What a great fish! I screamed to Hank “Best day EVER!” He laughed and told me to get back in front of the boat. We had more fishing to do.
We floated our way down the river for three separate days. Some fish were big, some were small, and each time I caught one it was the “best day ever!” And why wouldn’t it be? We had so much fun floating, enjoying the gorgeous scenery, fishing, and spending quality husband-wife time together.
On the last day, I hooked the largest rainbow ever. What a great fight he put up as well. He aired out, and I held tight to my rod, sure to keep the tip up as he fought. The water splashed, and the sun glistened off of him. A wild rainbow with his amazing iridescent strip on his side. What amazing fish they are. I managed him safely to the boat and gently returned him to the water. Then with another “best day ever!” under my belt, I continued to cast away.
Finally, I offered my rod to Hank and rowed for a short time. My shoulder was so sore by the end of that third day that I was happy to take a break and try to man the oars. Wouldn’t you know it?! Right away he catches a great brown! He is such a good teacher and such a great fisherman. It was a happy ending to my “best day ever!”
It’s always an adventure!
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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