When we woke up in the morning, I was shocked to see that it was already almost 8:30 a.m. We had slept so hard that the sun coming up and the songs of the morning didn't wake us. It was a very slow start. We cooked sausage and eggs over the fire and heated up some more water for maté.
By the time we got on the river, it was 70 degrees and sunny. Perfect weather for floating.
The fishing was a little slower than the day before, which was not surprising with the hot sun. We were still moving a decent amount of fish, but getting them to commit was much harder. The river was deep and narrow with lots of wood structure for the fish to hide in. The brookies would come flying out of the logs to slap the fly. They were very aggressive and hostile toward a foreign object in their hole.
We stopped for a quick riverside lunch. Crackers, cheese, an apple, and a something cool to drink. We floated at a very relaxing pace. This trip was about the fish, but it was also about the adventure and seeing a new river. It was much more enjoyable to float with no agenda and soak up the experience.
It didn't take long after lunch to find a few fish. The holes that were shaded produced the most action.
We came across some braids in the river and decided it would be best to fish them from the bank. We snuck up on the holes and stripped a streamer through to see if anything would take. Some spots were so thick with brush that the only way to hit the hole was with the old sling shot approach.
The river was so wild. Coming up to holes like the one shown below made you wonder if these fish have ever seen a streamer.
The average size of fish we caught was still really good. Most of the fish we landed were in the 12-14 inch class. We moved a few fish that were in the 15-17, but never landed one.
We encountered several portages on this float, but with the Outcast boats we handled them easily. It would only take a minute or two to safely portage all the obstacles we came across.
In the afternoon the weather turned quickly. The temperature dropped over 20 degrees and dark clouds rolled in. The fishing picked up for a bit, but as it got later we decided to push on down and camp. We started a big fire and roasted some fresh brats for dinner. The temperature continued to drop until it was in the 30's which made for a very cold, long night.