Posted on September 05 2021
If you were ever going to hire a guide to float the Big River today was the day to do it. Why? Well we just had the fall "redistribution rise" in water courtesy of Ida. The flow is now back down to around 2,500 cfs which can be safely waded if you are familiar with the place you are wading but is not a good level at which to learn the river. The BR fish have been lightly fished since the drake spinner fall back in June and are now back in their home pools. Lastly, today was a five star olive day from the time the first drizzle began running off the porch roof. There were about a dozen trailers at Buckingham and I bet most anglers left the river happy. I know I did.
Didn't leave the fishing camp until about 3:00. Would have started out earlier but had invested $6.99 in ESPN+ to see my granddaughter's North Florida volleyball team play a match that started at 1:00. Thankfully they won in three straight games. Drove up the PA side of the BR and as usual, stopped at Buckingham to do both a trailer and rise count. Trailers outnumbered risers by a wide margin but there were bugs on the water and fish rising. Drove on up river to Stockport where there were half dozen cars and two trailers. Did one of my U-turns and headed back downstream to get below the boats.
The fishing - Well, I lost three fish and two of them were big ones, both were well into the backing when they said adios. Other than a couple knots in the tippet the rest of the day was as good as it gets. There were olives, the kind that are big enough to see, not a lot of them, but the fish like the way they taste and were up looking for them. Not all the fish stayed in one lie, but if you got a fly in front of them, most ate and then the fun began. With the water at this level a 14 inch fish can get into your backing and following one down stream or even getting one back up stream to where you are is a challenge. At about 6:00 the sun peaked through the clouds and both the hatch and the rising came to a screeching halt. Landed two good browns 19 and 18 inches and a bunch of hot heavy three year old 'bows between 14 and 16 inches. By far my best day since early August.
If you are game, on a cloudy, overcast day, try the BR. Junction Pool is a great place to cut your teeth. It is the easiest wading on the river and there are fish. Upstream is a mucky unpleasant journey but there is good fishing "just around the bend". Downstream you can see rising fish a quarter mile away and walk on fine gravel forever, just remember, you have to walk back.