I am a truly lucky man in that I get every other Friday off from work. When things work out those are fishing days. Today worked out. Today worked out just fine.
It started off a little worrisome. My wife had on the news and the weather report came up 49 to 51F and sunny. Sweet. Then a chart popped up saying 15 to 50mph winds. 50? Really? It did turn out to be a little windy all day, but nothing close to 50mph.
After taking Zack to school I made my way to the river and was wetting a line by 9:45. Conditions had turned in the last week because of snow-melt. The river was up about 4 inches and off-color. This made things difficult. Off color is kind of OK, I probably still know where the fish are. Up and off-color means that the fish will have moved holding areas and I cant spot them to find them. So most of the morning was a struggle. Lots of fruitless blind casting.
Fortunately around 11:00 I finally found a couple of fish in a side channel where I could see. I had a couple of shots to neutral fish but they seemed to be ignoring my orange/brown carp-stew presented on a slow strip through the field of view. So I switched to an olive Carp-Stew and decided for more of a dead-drop-in-their face presentation.
It was a while before I got another shot. Probably 45 minutes. Right about noon I finally found a good shot. He was 25 feet off in 10" of water with a slight current. And he was ever so gently tailing. I used a roll cast to drop the fly about 2' in front and 1' beyond the fish, gave one strip to set the drop and let it go. Apparently I timed the drop perfectly because he only moved about 2" on the take.
This was a nice fish. Most of the time in the winter they aren't so tough but this one actually managed to take a little line and my net was barely big enough. I had to net it over the head and carry it to the bank with it's tail hanging out. It turns out it was 28" and had eaten way too many cheeseburgers. That ties my S.Platte biggest for length and undoubtedly breaks it for weight.
The rest of the day was a wash. No more shots and I couldn't find the the right drifts blind casting. Still an awesome winter day, but I probably need to find a bigger net. I picked this one up late last summer because it folds up tight, deploys easily and has a good fabric mesh. Much over 28" and it probably wont work though. Any ideas?