Best Catch 2018 | Upper Delaware Brown Trout

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Upper Delaware River System in NY & PA

"Angling is extremely time-consuming. That's sort of the whole point." 
Thomas McGuane

Fly fishing brings people together, there is simply no other way to put it. This story started in April 2017 in Craig, Montana. In one of only two bars in that iconic town, I met a friend who was from my home state and even close my region. 2600 miles away from home, fly fishing brings people together. Now both back on Pennsylvania water in May of 2018, I had the chance to get out and fish with Justin Lyle.

This particular day in May was extremely hot, the sky resembled the color of bluebirds and there was certainly no escaping that early summer sun. We aimed to put in around noon - choosing to fish into the evening - hoping to catch that late hatch of the day. This was my first time floating the Upper Delaware River, to say it was serene would be an understatement. The float started out slow, the heat kept a lot of fish hanging low in the water column & in pockets of shade formed by low hanging trees. About 3 hours into the day, Justin anchored on the edge of a rising pod. With the Mayfly hatch in full bloom & the abundance of spinners floating in the water… a Rusty Spinner was my fly of choice.

The quote “Angling is extremely time-consuming. That's sort of the whole point” never made more sense than in this moment. For what felt like 2 hours, we worked this pod, cast after cast, drift after drift, counting when they were rising for food, I changed the size of my fly a few times; 16 to 18, 18 to 16. Until finally just when I was ready to give up and start looking for other heads… a TAKE & a SET! Just like that, this beautiful brown and I were connected.

Landing this beaut was more than another catch, it was proof that when you wait long enough it will happen. Trout are picky, simply put. This Upper Delaware Brown Trout tested me mentally and made me work for it! It is rewarding days like this on the water that I am reminded just how much fishing is less about the fish and more about the art of angling.