Yesterday morning was spent mostly in traffic. Of course Canal Rd. would be shut down right at Fletchers Cove when I am teaching people how to fly fish at Fletchers Cove. I sat in traffic for almost an hour just to move from Glebe Rd. across the Chain Bridge, and into D.C. Luckily the clients were stuck too and we got to the river at the same time. I had a brief talk with Paula. If you don't know who Paula is, you are missing out.
The clients drove in from Charm City where they were staying for the night. Their hotel was on the western end so I suggested they eat at Woodberry Kitchen. If they were staying down town I would have insisted they eat at Mezze. We walked up the trail to some exposed rocks and worked on roll casting out. Snakeheads were busting the surface all across the river. The tide was going out so the rocks were soon exposed. We had several bites and only landed one sunfish. Bob was having a blast using the 10' rod and roll casting with two hands. He quickly lost interest in catching fish and was going crazy just getting the line out. I don't think I have seen someone so excited to cast. We had 3 blackhawks fly over (helicopter), ospreys, herons, cormorants, and other birds. Two hours quickly passed and I had to get out to Reston.
I met my parent's neighbor Tom at the boat ramp. Luckily the dredging was not in progress and had moved to the small cove of the lake. We took off in the canoe and having only been out fly fishing once before, Tom was throwing 10 feet of line effortlessly. I showed him how to time his back cast to allow the line to straighten behind him prior to throwing the line forward and presenting to the fish. I told him he would have at least 50 fish bite his fly, loose 30 of them and probably land the other 20. He had a sunfish on within his first dozen casts.
Tom is entering 7th grade next week. He went to the same elementary school as me and is going to the same middle school. He is growing up on the same street as me, has the same creek in his backyard as I did, and has the same lake to fly fish on across the street. Just a bit of things in common. I decided to take a picture of every fish he landed. Here you go:
Not a bad lot of fish in 120 minutes. Fish threw the hook left and right and he lost a HUGE bass right at the side of the canoe. This thing was massive. I had the fish at my fingertips when it threw the hook. He Tom hooked another large bass right behind a pontoon boat. The boat had its motor in the water and the fish wrapped the line around the prop and threw the hook. I was happy to show Tom parts of the lake from the canoe that he normally does not get to see from the public access shoreline and docks. I hope to have him out in the canoe again and to bump into him while he is fishing and check on his progress.
One of the fish was dubbed the 'hunchback' as it had this strange shape. Almost like a mini drum.
6pm found two new clients. Rob had a kayak (nice tarpon 120!) and I put his friend in my canoe. We paddled around the lake doing the same 2-hour circuit that Tom and I had fished. We had dozens of bites, fish throwing hooks, fish missing hooks by biting the fly tail and legs. Fish were brought to the canoe with an old Orvis 4wt Superfine. One of them was another HUGE bass. The rod was too soft to fight the rod which was bent in half. I thought the rod was going to break. We switched back to the 8wt after that.
For two guys who had never fly fished, they could have fooled me. They through out line, striped it in, set the hook, and fought and landed fish for 2.25 straight hours. It was dark by the time we got back to the boat ramp.
Here are two of the fish.