IF you want to earn the biggest brown trout of your life on the White River some days it means putting on your big boy pants and sucking it up through the hardship.
For all the big brown photos we are posting at this time of year, you just get to see the satisfied smiles or wide grins. What you don’t get to see is the hours of effort, feel the bitter cold chilling your feet, face and hands, and howling winds, the sore backs, the tired hands, the sheer exhaustion.
My buddy Jason, and his fishing pal Bert, went through it all Saturday. It was the first day of high pressure, meaning blue skies, after days of prime low light, but the day was locked in on their schedules months ago and they would fish for better or worse. Howling 25mph wind downstream, and a daytime high of 32 just added to was Jason describes as his travel curse.
The morning bit was decent, for Bert at least in the prime front seat, getting a bunch of pulls from fish in the mid teens, and then one better fish with bent my 8wt Sage Xi3 deep.
The warm chili + cornbread lunch delivered by my wife Rabecca, was a blessing, then Jason jumped into the front seat and off the bat nailed a seriously girthy 18” brown _ I mean this fish was seriously obese and things went seriously quiet again. I pulled us over on a grassy and relatively wind sheltered bank mid afternoon for a siesta _ I’d been rowing hard all day upstream to slow the push of the wind but we were ahead of schedule. I wanted to make sure we would hit a stretch of prime, reliable water once the sun was off it.
And right on time there was this gorgeous 24” brown, just for Jason’s birthday trip, the biggest brown he’s ever caught, and our biggest client fish of the year so far. They just get way more impressive at the 2’ mark.
I’m not sure the achievement had sunk when we drove off the river in the twilight, they guys were done but by today he was pretty stoked. I tell ya he earned this trophy.