About Me

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Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
I am an attorney in my early thirties with a serious fly fishing problem. I work at a large corporate law firm where things move pretty fast. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of corporate America, I try as often as possible to get away and enjoy a quiet stream. My blog attempts to detail the adventures I have both on and off the water in "My World on the Fly."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The West III: On Our Own

For Days 3 and 4, Joe, Johnny and I rowed ourselves in Joe's beautiful drift boat.  Both days we floated Section 1 because that's the section of river Joe knew the best from his guiding days.  The plan was to utilize the same strategy--slam the banks early, find risers in the afternoon, and finish with streamers at dusk. 

On the first day, we had one of the most memorable (and definitely the most valuable) catches of the trip.  One thing you have to understand about this crew is that we rarely come unprepared.  Actually, we're usually so loaded with gear that half the stuff we lug halfway across the country never gets used.  This trip was no different.  Here are the weapons we used for day 3.  Pay close attention to the rod in the foreground.


Every now and again, having a lot of gear (e.g. extra rods) proves useful.  On our first day in Joe's boat, we put in at the dam.  Joe took the first shot at rowing, as he was the former guide, and Johnny and I planned to throw some heavy sink tip rods with big streamers to see if we could dig up one of the big, big browns that are often seen hanging out near the dam.  We put the boat in the water and Joe rowed hard across the heavy current over to the power house where the current was not ripping.  Once we hit the slack water, Joe rowed upstream so we could start our streamer fishing as close to the dam as possible.  Joe really earned his stripes for this because even in the slack water, rowing upstream was not easy with the 30 mph breeze that was screaming off the dam directly downstream.  Thanks for the effort Joe. 

After a hard fought battle, Joe got us in position in the main channel and we began chucking and ducking, literally.  I don't think JD got the memo, however, about the ducking part.  After about five casts I absolutely drilled him in the back of the head with a very large conehead streamer.  I blame the wind, and of course the guide for not positioning us properly.  I suppose I had a little something to do with it too.  Sorry JD.  Anyway, the fly hit Johnny with such tremendous force that he was briefly stunned.  He wasn't unconscious or anything, but he was dazed enough that he let go of his $1500 Sage/Lampson rig (shown in the foreground in the picture above) and watched it sink to the bottom of the 8 foot main channel.  Joe and I screamed at him to grab the thing as it slowly sank but it's like he couldn't hear us.  I'm guessing his ears were ringing still from the shot he took to the dome.  There was nothing we could do as the rod sank to the bottom.  The current was way too strong to jump in, and, even if it wasn't, the rod was 8 ft down and the water was freezing.  I consider myself to be a pretty strong swimmer but this was not an option.   

Depressed, Joe pulled the boat over in the slack water and we tended to John's wound.  After a few minutes, we decided it was worth rowing back upstream, floating the same line, just to see if we could locate the rod.  We had no idea how to get it even if we could find it but we went for it anyway.  Sure enough, on our first drift, we spotted the silver reel and rod with about 60 feet of fluorescent green fly line waving in the current.  We pulled over again and thought: how can we get this thing?  Had we been in a salt water skiff we may have had a gaff.  Actually, with all the shit we bring on trips, I'm surprised we didn't have one.  We put our heads together and formulated a plan.  The idea was to rig up the two stiffest rods in the boat, tie on huge, articulated streamers, reel them all the way up to the front guide, and try to snag the rod or the fly line laying on the river bottom.  

Joe rowed us back upstream, and with cameras rolling, the following unfolded:

video

After our rod retrieval, karma was on our side.  What was not on our side was the weather.  We got hit pretty hard on Day 3 with a significant thunderstorm (i.e. serious wind, hail, and pounding rain).  With all the gear we had, JD forgot his rain jacket.  He was not comfortable.   

Approaching Weather. 

video

Uncomfortable JD with no rain jacket. 

After the storm blew through, the bugs continued to hatch and we managed to catch a few fish.  Check out the big adult stone.  Almost salmon-fly worthy:  

Unfortunately, the wind never quit.  Here's an example of what we were dealing with.


video


Once the weather broke, and it finally did, we all took turns at the oars.  JD saved me quickly by snagging this little hybrid within the first few minutes of my taking over. 

Capt. Joe enjoyed a few fish as well, again from a seated position in the back of the boat.

The biggest fish of the trip came while former South Fork guide Joe Scott was at the oars.  Joe hasn't lost his touch apparently.  As we approached one of his favorite banks, Joe told the story of how this bank holds big fish and no one really ever fishes it.  John and I were doubtful but didn't open our mouths as we were quite comfortable with rods in our hands instead of oars.  We dropped in to the slot along Joe's bank and after a few casts, I nailed this 22' hybrid on a dry. 

Here's a little video of landing this sucker.  Listen closely to the commentary between Big JD and I. Always on each other's case.

video

Day 4 and Day 3 sort of ran together.  We spent a lot of time on a new riffle down near the take out.  This is where we caught the majority of our fish on our final days.  We stuck some great fish.






As is usually the case, I had a very difficult time leaving the river on our last day.  Fish were rising everywhere but it was getting dark and we had a little more river to cover before the take out.  Check out some of this video of fish rising on this little flat.  One more cast was the recurring theme....
video

Eventually we were forced to quit.  That night we enjoyed steaks and good red wine and reluctantly packed our things.  It was an amazing trip and hopefully will become an annual adventure for the three of us.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The West II: Guided Days

We ended up fishing the next four days on the South Fork of the Snake River just outside Victor, Idaho.  If you haven't fished the South Fork, I highly recommend it.  Prior to this trip, I had only fished the South Fork once--the Thursday prior to my wedding.  That year, we were slightly early in the season and didn't catch the really good dry fly fishing.  Salmon flies were just starting to show up but the fish were not dialed in on the dries just yet.  We did well on the huge salmon fly nymphs and managed to stab a few off the surface on the comparable dry fly pattern but it was nothing like what we experienced this year.  August was the perfect time for South Fork dry fly fishing.  It was some of the best dry fly fishing I have ever encountered. 

Days 1 and 2 we used guides from the South Fork Lodge.  Day 1 we fished with Chris Conant, a local STL angler, and Brett Novik, head guide at South Fork Lodge.  On day 2, Brett had to swap out and we fished with Cole Sutheimer.  All guides were excellent and I would highly recommend any of them if you're interested in taking a trip to the South Fork.

Day 1 we floated section 2 of the river.  We put in just above South Fork Lodge and pulled out at a private take out only accessible to South Fork Lodge guides.  The fishing was excellent.  We started by pounding the banks with hoppers, ants, and stimis.  This produced a few fish but was really just a way to pass the time until we hit the first riffle where the cuttys were dialed in on PMDs.  Once we got on the risers, I understood the why this river is famous for dry fly fishing.

As we approached the first good shoal, we floated through the deep section on the opposite side of the river that we were going to fish.  Hundreds of noses were breaking the surface on the far bank as we drifted by.  We slowly slid the drift boat into the eddy below the rising fish, rigged up the Winny 5wt with a PMD and PMD emerger, and went to work. 

Having not fished dries in a while, it took several strikes for me to get my timing back.  Once I was back in the zone, it was on:


Watching these fish work was truly magical.  I was amazed I couldn't spot these fish in the shallow, gin-clear water.  Johnny and Joe enjoyed similar success:




As the day progressed, our fish count rose tremendously.  It was really an amazing experience.  Just about every fish was a 15 to 17 inch cutthroat caught on a little tiny dry fly.  I was in heaven. 

Chris and I closed out Day 1 in search of a big brown on a streamer.  Mr. Conant had stuck a pig off the bank just above the take out a few days before and that's where my best fish of the day came.  Big 20+ inch brown on a black and yellow marabou jig.  Nice work Chris!!


Day 2 was almost a carbon copy of day one.  We started by slamming the banks, fished riffles all day for rising cutts and a few browns, and we closed with streamers at dusk.  Here are some shots from our second day:

Piggy brown on a #20 PMD. 

Great release video. Pay no attention to Davis' cold balls. 

video
Mr. Scott--nice brown out of the boat while seated (lazy ass). 

JD--nice looking hybrid (I think).

The highlight of day two for me was actually losing a fish.  Chris had some intel on a resident brown that had been spotted in a back water behind a series of islands.  With the main channel off to our left, Chris and I snuck behind this island where the water was spilling over a very shallow gravel bar into a deep hole with various root wads and overhanging trees.  The entire pool was about 60 feet long and about 20 feet wide.  It was strikingly similar to some challenging water on on the Current River back home, Chris and my home waters.  We approached from down stream through a two foot clearing in the overhanging trees.  Due to the very shallow gravel bar at the top of the hole, and the root wads on the opposite bank, we would have to try to guide any big fish out the two foot gap where we accessed the hole.  We discussed our plan.  The outlook wasn't brilliant. With very few options, our hope was to net the fish before it could leave the seclusion of the back water.  Chris and I sat and watched for a moment.  I threw a bow and arrow cast at a little cutty that was tucked under one of the sunken trees.  Nothing.  That was not why we came, however.  As I continued to mess with the cuttys, we both noticed a big roll just below the gravel bar in the riffle.  This was the big boy.

It only took one cast with a PMD and a little beadhead dropper.  The flies drifted off the gravel bar into the zone and I saw another roll.  With a slow hook set, it was on.  Before Chris or I could even think about netting this pig, it bolted downstream right through the slot in the trees where we wanted him to go.  I began the chase.  Chris managed the excess fly line sitting on the water as we passed through the narrow gauntlet so it wouldn't get caught on any branches.  Just as the fish cleared the pool, it darted right at a 90 degree angle toward the main channel passing under a submerged log.  Oh fuck!  I had no idea what to do now.  My line was going under this sunken tree and the fish was doing aerials on the opposite side.  Quickly, Chris hopped over the log and I managed to pass my rod to him under the submerged tree limb as the fish continued its acrobatics.  Chris swiftly handed the rod back to me and I regained control (if that's what you call it).  Chris then hopped back over the tree to untangle my excess fly line which was quickly wrapping itself around the submerged log.  After a few seconds, we cleared the log and had the fish tight on the line again.  How he didn't snap my tippet or throw the fly is beyond me.

At this point, the fish calmed a little and slid into a quiet eddy on the lower left side of the island.  I thought we had him.  We approached slowly and got a good look at this monster brown.  We estimated 25 or better.  This was the fish of a lifetime.  Chris and I inched forward.  The beast was almost taunting us by not moving and showing us his size.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, the fish decided to bolt right at us passing just to Chris' right side.  Chris lunged with the net--no love.  The fish ran back under the tree where we had brilliantly maneuvered the rod underwater but this time the fish completed his mission of snapping my tippet.  He was gone.  But what a fight.



Days 3 and 4 to come....

The West: Part I: The Madison

Back in early August, Big John , Joe Scott, and I took a 5 day adventure out West.  The sole purpose of the trip was fishing and I'd say we accomplished our mission.  We fished hard every day, hitting the water by 11 or so and quitting around 10 pm.  We had one day of wade fishing on the Madision near Ennis, Montana, and four days fishing out of a drift boat on the South Fork (two guided days and two days where we rowed ourselves).  By the end of the trip, John and I were trying to figure out whether our fish count was higher than our Bud Light count.  I think the fish count won and that's really saying something.   

We left STL at 6 am on a Tuesday and the wheels were down in Jackson, WY by 9:45 am.  I love getting an early start.  We had plenty of time to drive to the Madison for our first day of wade fishing.  If you've ever flown in to Jackson Airport, you remember the view from the runway as you step off the plane.  It's truly amazing and we had a beautiful clear morning to soak in the Tetons.  It had been a year since I'd been in Jackson.  Last July Sara and I were married there.  The place was more beautiful than I remembered.

Dodging hoards of passengers snapping photographs on the runway, we moved swiftly toward the baggage claim.  JD and I took care of the luggage while Joe arranged for the truck.  Joe, a regular to the Jackson area and a former fishing guide for South Fork Lodge, keeps a bad-ass Ford Excursion in Jackson.  He also has a drift boat and tons of fishing gear in storage.  We made good use of everything.   

The baggage / car pick up could not have been smoother.  The bags were basically waiting for us by the time we got to the baggage claim (gotta love small airports!) and the truck started on the first try.  We had been a little concerned that the cold winter would have taken its toll on the battery but luckily she fired up immediately and we were off toward Montana.   

The drive was pretty cool because we followed world famous trout rivers the whole way. We first drove over the Snake River in Jackson.  Next, we headed over the pass into Victor, Idaho and paralleled the South Fork of the Snake for a few miles until merging slightly north along the the Henry's Fork.  Once we hit MT, we followed the Madison all the way to Ennis and to the channels where we would wade fish.

The view from the backside of the Tetons was not bad at all on the drive up.


Not counting our numerous stops for lunch, gas, beer, groceries, flies, and just about everything else you can imagine, we were stepping into the river right at prime hatch time.  We had caddis, rusty spinners, and all sorts of terrestrials.  Dry fly fishing for trophy Madison River browns was not a bad way to close out a Tuesday.  All three of us ripped a few lips but John and I connected with the two healthiest fish.

I saw the brown below rise in a long tail out where a riffle slowly tapered off into deeper water along a cut bank.  After watching some smaller fish rise, I saw this guy eat an emerger where he barely exposed his nose and tail.  The tail was big and I knew he was worth a cast or two.  The first cast proved successful and this brown ate an olive caddis emerger.  We estimated he was about 19.  Long and skinny.

  
JD's fish was much bigger but unfortunately, due to a netting error by yours truly, we do not have a photograph of his big rainbow which probably could have eaten the brown above.  It was getting dark and JD and I had teamed up on a similar tail out where fish were actively rising.  The only difference between JD's hole and the run where I stuck my brown was depth.  His hole was 3 times as deep as mine and I'm sure was home to a couple very large fish. 

JD and I studied the run, watching several fish rise prior to throwing the first cast.  We threw all sorts of different dries and stuck a couple little fish as the sun fell behind the mountains.  The final cast was with a #16 rusty spinner.  JD made a nice presentation and we watched a large nose rise and sip the fly.  Once Johnny set the hook, we knew it was big as the fish bolted through the deep channel for the faster water below the hole.  JD began the chase and  I dropped my rod and sprinted to get below the fish with the net.  I'm not terribly fast, especially in wading boots, and the fish was winning the race.  I kept running but this big bow was in the lead.  After 100 yards or so I knew we were running out of time.  The fish was sprinting and rolling through a fast riffle no deeper than a foot.  He was sure to throw the hook if we didn't act soon.  Figuring we were losing the battle, I took a hail mary shot with the net.  With the low light I couldn't really see the fish and simply aimed at where I thought he'd be based on the position of John's fly line.  I swiped and saw a 24+ inch flash of silver just beyond the reach of my net.  John's line curved around the net bucket and suddenly recoiled back toward him.  With no weight in the net, I knew he was gone.  Great story but unfortunately no picture.  Sorry JD.  This would have been one of the bigger fish of trip, if not the biggest.

I really felt bad that I missed the net job but I wouldn't exactly call it an error.  It would be similar to a third baseman missing a short-hop ground ball ripped down the third base line.  You shouldn't be penalized for it but it's certainly a makeable play and sometimes it separates AAA from the big show.  Looks like I'll be stuck in the minors for a while.  Karma is a bitch too because later on in the trip I would lose a hog of a brown on the South Fork that dodged the net as well.  Stay tuned.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vail: One Year Anniversary Trip

Sara and I took a long weekend trip to Denver and Vail for our one year anniversary.  We would have loved to go back to Jackson (the place we were married) but we didn't have enough time to make the longer trek.  We decided on Colorado to get our mountain fix and it did not dissappoint.  Of course, we had to do a little fishing along the way.

I think Sara has come to terms with my fishing addiction.  I hope she has.  I fished at our wedding, on our honeymoon, and I bring a fly rod on pretty much every trip we take these days.  The one year anniversary trip was no different.   

The first night we stayed in Denver, met up with some friends for drinks, and had a lovely dinner at a fancy restaurant.  Fresh colorado lamb and steak was a nice treat after the 6 month diet I've been attempting.  I was not about to count calories on vacation.  I think that's actually illegal in some states.

After dinner we took leisurly stroll through town.  Denver is a very cool city.  Everyone is very friendly and people seem happy to be alive.  I think I could handle living there.  I wonder if I'd ever get any work done with the abudance of outdoor activity just outside my door.  Doubtful. 

Early Friday morning we checked out of our Denver digs and headed up in to the hills for some much needed mountain air and, of course, a few trout.  When we arrived, we had a bit of time to kill because check-in for our room was not till 4 pm (a little ridiculous if you ask me).  We decided to take a leisurly hike along a small mountain stream.  I brought two fly rods just in case we got stranded and needed nourishment. 

It turned out that the hike was a little more intense than we had expected.  The uphill climb in the altitude combined with a pack full of fishing gear, rain jackets, water, and snacks made for a pretty good work out.  Sara dusted me up the trail although, in my defense, I was carrying the pack which weighed almost as much as her.  I really need to work on packing light.  By the time we reached the top, I was exhausted.  I think I threw two casts before we decided to turn around and head for lower Gore Creek.  Gore would provide bigger fish, nice streamside benches and tables where Sara could sit and read, and it was a hell of a lot easier to access. We scurried down the mountain (this time I took the lead) snapping a few photos along the way.    




Back near Vail, we managed to find a nice park along Gore Creek to hang out.  I fished for an hour or so while Sara enjoyed a book.  The fishing was quite productive.  While fish weren't responding to dries, I managed to stick quite a few on varrying nymphs including a pretty stubborn brown that should have been a little spookier than he proved to be.  The fish was about 5 ft off the bank in shallow water no deeper than a foot or so.  I casted several times to him and he wouldn't eat.  When I finally got my fly snagged on a submerged log that was litterally laying underneath the fish, I thought, "why waste the fly, this fish is not eating anyway."  I crept out into the stream and the fish slid up in the current a couple feet from the log.  I could have netted the thing while standing there.  He didn't seem to mind my presence.  I carefully unhooked my fly and worked my way back to the bank below the fish where I had originally been standing and casting.  As moved away from this brown's perferred spot, he slowly slid back to his original position and started eating again.  How this fish was able to relax so soon after I was literally standing in his hole is beyond me.  There's no way he didn't see me.  Check out the bright red shirt.  Anyway, I decided to try another cast, this time using a green drake nymph and a little midge pattern.  That was all it took.  On the first drift the fish ate the drake and ran toward the fast water.  After a few minutes, and a yell to Sara who was holding the camera, I landed this nice, dark, Gore Creek brown:


 



After feeling like I accomplished something, Sara and I headed back to the hotel to check-in.  To my surprise, Sara had a small wedding cake delivered to the room with a nice bottle of champagne.  I did not realize that it's tradition to eat some of your wedding cake on your one year anniversary.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), we were unable to freeze any of our original cake due to the destination wedding so Sara, being the thoughtful thinker that she is, contacted a local pastry chef who whipped up a delicious, personal-sized wedding cake for our romantic weekend.  With the cake in the room, I had to keep a close eye on Sara so she wouldn't spoil her dinner.  She's got a little bit of a sweet tooth.  After bear-proofing the fridge, we headed to a fancy restaurant at the base of the mountain.  I quietly enjoyed another lovely, romantic dinner with my best friend.  She couldn't stop thinking about the cake through dinner.  Quite frankly, neither could I.  Check this sucker out.    



Our first day in Vail ended appropriately with a fire, some delicious wedding cake, and cool glass of champagne.  Sara and I reminisced about what we were doing the year before in Jackson.  I had fished all day on the South Fork with some members of my wedding party and Sara had her bridesmaids luncheon.  By dusk, we were at a cocktail party in Jackson generously thrown by one of my old friend's parents.  All the guests had arrived and everyone seemed to be having a blast.  How could you not in Jackson?  Sara and I couldn't have been happier.  All of the preparations we she had made were working out perfectly.  We couldn't wait for our rehearsal dinner the next day at the top of Rendezvous Mountain.  A gourmet BBQ at 10,000 ft complete with a campfire and toasted marshmellows.  I know this sounds arrogant, but I've never been to a cooler wedding than ours.  Really, looking back there's not one thing I would have changed. 

Prior to taking our anniversary trip, Sara and I dicussed possible activities for our brief stay in the mountains.  One of the suggestions was white water rafting.  I had been white water rafting when I was a kid and I remember it being similar to a float trip (i.e. canoeing in Missouri).  You go to the float company, sign your waivers, get on a bus full of people, head to the river, and attempt to look cool when the company takes the picture that you'll later be forced to buy if you want to remember the experience.  I wanted something more personal.  I also couldn't handle being on the river all day without my fly rod.  As I contemplated options, a light bulb went off in my head--we could white water raft and fish at the same time.  I'd find a guide who had a raft and could  float us through some heavy water during a day of fishing.  Instead of spending the day with 12 random strangers on a raft on the Colorado River with boats scattered everywhere, we were going to float the lower section of the Roaring Fork where we could get splashed and catch some trout.  Through cunning and a little bribery, Sara agreed to my little adventure.  A guided day of fishing on our one year anniversary.  She is really irreplacable.   

Our day on the water couldn't have started off any worse.  We had rain, hail, wind, and very cold conditions.  I felt terrible for Sara, although the weather for rafting on the Colorado wouldn't have been any different.  Thank goodness we brought our rain jackets.  What was supposed to be a beautiful sunny day on the water started out as a windy 50 degree drencher.  Sara gutted it out in true Holtsman form and her perseverence proved worthwhile.  After a couple hours of grey skies,  the weather moved through and we were floating and fishing in the sun.  I love mountain weather. 




Sara's fishing skills surprised me.  We usually fish together a couple times a year but she does not like taking instruction from me.  I think this is typical behavior in most husband-wife instructional scenarios for whatever reason.  However, with the introduction of a third party instructor, and my promise not to watch her cast, Sara relaxed and really caught on.  Her casting improved tremendously and she was able to catch fish on nypmhs, dries, and almost streamers.  She would have caught fish on the streamers but she really didn't have the right rig.  I was throwing a heavy 7 wt with a sink tip and Sara was working with a lighter 5 wt floating line.  The fish were nailing the deep streamers I was chucking but wouldn't rise for Sara's bug.  Had she had the right tools, I guarantee you she would have had success. 

 

Ready to haul!!




I was super impressed with Sara's fishing skills and I had a blast spending the day on the water with her. No huge fish were landed but we caught a lot. Especially around dusk when the green drakes started coming off. We must have doubled if not tripled our numbers on dries at the end of the day. I really hope she'll get out there with me again sometime. I can't believe how much I enjoyed fishing with her.








After the rain delay, our day on the water turned out to be pretty long.  We watched the sun set behind the mountains and did a little dry fly fishing in the dark.  The biggest fish of the day came right at dark near our take out.     




We didn't get back to our room until midnight or so.  Thankfully, we were able to grab some room service when we arrived.  Room service, fire, cake and champagne made for the perfect ending to the day.  I was in a good place.   

Our final day, we dicided to take the gondola up to the top of the mountain for a quick hike and some high-elevation site seeing.  I got up that morning, of course, and caught a few fish on Gore Creek before Sara woke up just so I could say that I caugh trout everday we were in Vail.  That morning I actually hooked and lost the best fish of the trip.  A big rainbow nailed another green drake nymph and tore upstream performing several aerials just to let me know how big he was.  After the short, fast run, he wrapped me around a huge rock in some heavy current and the battle was over.  Oh well.  At least I got to enjoy the fight.

The top of the mountain was cool but crowded.  We hung out for a while, had lunch, and took a few trails.  Dodging the hipee brigade playing frisbee golf was fairly challenging but we managed to survive.  Actually, one of the "frolfers" was kind enough to take our picture:


Shortly after lunch some weather approached, and Sara and I hurried back down the hill and headed toward Denver.  We met up with an an old college / fishing buddy of mine who just had a baby.  Sara will do just about anything these days to spend time with infants.  This is slightly scary for me but I'm glad Sara has such a strong maternal instinct.  Hopefully we can have some little fishermen (or women) someday.  I will need to get one of those baby backpacks so he or she can join me on the water at a young age.   

A few quick drinks meant it was time to head to the airport.  We got checked in, grabbed a bite to eat, and settled into our seats secretly wishing we had gone to Jackson.  What a great way to celebrate our first year.  Next year we'll go the distance.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Location X, June 2010

In the interest of confidentiality, there will be no fish tales.  Only pictures.  In two days of fishing, I boated 3 tarpon and jumped a fourth.  This year was a great success.  All fish were in the 80 - 100 lb class.  Thanks to my lovely wife for joining me in the boat on the second day.  The second day had the most action (landed two and jumped one).  Without her, I would not have these fabulous pictures taken on her new camera.  For that matter, without her I probably would never have found Location X.  Thanks also to my guide who will remain nameless.   

Fish #1 (jumped):


Fish #2


You'll notice 3/4 of my rod in the water on this one. Luckily, we were able to run this fish down, re-attach the three sections of my rod that came off, and land this beauty.



Fish # 3