Just four short days after returning from NY I was on my way back. This time Jax was with me. As I drove Jax slept and I thought about getting him on the monster browns. We were only three days from the last time I was in NY and the water levels were dropping and clearing in the creeks so the odd were slim. The up side was the main river might be fishable finally.
We drove through the night Wednesday and arrived at our destination about an hour after first light, which is when you can start fishing. Dan and Nathanial were already there exploring. We anxiously got our gear on and quickly hiked up river to find the water low and two guys in the prime spot. We kept hiking and found the next run a void of fishermen and if you looked closely you could see big browns sitting in the run. I helped Jax get the right drift and we ran several flies through the run. Soon enough he had a big female on and after a quick fight she came to hand. We snapped a quick photo and headed up river looking for Dan and Nathaniel. We could see they had a fish on as we continued exploring. We realized there was limited water so we headed to a bigger creek.
I think Jax made two casts and was into a nice steal head but that was it for him. He was tired from the long drive and headed to the truck to take a break. Dan, Nathanial and I got into several big browns and some steal head but the long drive was taking it’s toll on me as well so I called it a day and headed to Mid River motel in Pineville. We settled in for the night checking the weather forecast. With a -22 with wind chill forecasted for the following day we decided there was no point rushing to the river.
We slept in, had breakfast and casually made our way to Salmon River. Jax and I hooked six fish but with frozen guides and reels we didn’t land any. Despite the bitter cold it was nice. There were fewer people on the river so no rush to fish different spots. We even left the river to have a nice burger and warm up.
The last day was a different story. It was Saturday and even though it was going to be cold, we assumed it would be busy on the river. The water was clearing and dropping which meant we were on the river by 4 am in the dark. This was one of my favorite parts. Hanging around a small fire talking completed the trip for me. We waited for it to lighten up and made our way down the slippery embankment. Not an easy feat with our felt souled boots. Luckly Dan had studs on his so he was able to help Jax down and the rest of us slid down on our butts.
Despite frozen reels and lines and high waters, Jax and I were instantly into fish but for some reason Dan and Nathaniel couldn’t get a hook up. Even after switching spots and using the same fly it wasn’t happening for them. Dan is one of the best fishermen I know so it was crazy. They took off up river hoping their luck would change. It was noon before it warmed up to 30 degrees so we had a small window before temps dropped again. Jax and I hooked 22 fish that last day but landed only 4 between us. I’m pretty sure this trip will be frozen in our minds for a long time to come!