Monday, June 27, 2011

March on the PM

Tommy Lynch is more than a little intense... no-doubt he's an "A-list" guide with a track record of getting his clients into big fish. What may not be obvious is that to get better... you really need someone to get in your grill, and correct all the terrible habits and disrupt the complacency. Whether you like it or not you'll get better when you fish with Tommy - he demands that you cast the right way every single time - which is awesome, but can be extremely frustrating and disorienting until you start to snap out of your bad habits.

This spring I fished with him for a few days with Joel and then again with Simmer and Conair and learned more about casting (in particular roll casting sinking line and streamer fishing with big flies) than in my previous life of hack-casting combined. You also realize that most guides keep their mouth shut - and avoid the hard work of breaking your bad habits. There's a place for that - but on the PM if you don't iron out the wrinkles you won't catch fish, and you'll be in the trees or in the logs the entire time. Tommy's mission is to put you in position to tie up with a trophy. There's a reason why he has dozens of pics of clients holding browns over 30" and hundreds over 20".

Joel had logged 3 total days of fly fishing in his life, prior to our trip. Needless to say, streamer fishing on the PM, with 300grain full sinking line, with Tommy Lynch was like skipping the bunny hills and heading straight to the double black diamonds.

Tommy was relentless in his mission to get Joel into some fish. And Joel stepped up big-time: landed a nice steelie and a few browns nymphing, and a very rare exotic 22" kamloops resident trout on a streamer (a rumored escapee from the gun club trout pond, as they aren't native to the PM or stocked by the DNR).

Not bad for day #4 & 5... ever with a fly rod.

The other bizarre fish from this trip was a one-eye cyclops steelie caught on a streamer.

No big browns landed - only a few in the 14-16 range. A few heart stopping/knee bending visuals of some hogs... that I continue to dream about.

Further proof... Never bring a camera!

We pulled the trigger last minute (June 2/3) for some "M River" action and the river was loving us... it was ridiculous love, off the hook love.... so much love that we lost track of time. Between the three of us (Scotty, Steveo, GMS) we easily landed 100+ fish on the first day, over two days a conservative estimate might be 175 total fish (Scotty crushed it day two, Steve and I were a little slower)... not that we were counting but we lost count by 10 AM day 1. We estimate that there were around 10 fish in the 18+ range, and 1 fish (not pictured) 19+. Zero fish 20+... and these guys are serious about measuring, they pull the tape out anytime a fish is in the 18/19 range because a local eatery will give you a free entree if you breach the 20" mark. Of course, we didn't have a camera along, but we did snap a few pics with my phone... and the guide snapped a few too... though we haven't seen the best pics from him. Who cares though... we'll be back. The "M river" is insane. We already have 2 days booked for pre-spawn 2012. The fishing was so ridiculous that we won't talk of the river publicly and only refer to it as "M" river going forward.

On that note... just last week Steve and Bart got into some huge smallies on a newly discovered secret MN river and landed 5 or 6 fish over 20" also did not have a camera along. Sign me up. Further proof - never bring a camera.

Bart Hex

I received a text at 11:47 PM that said simply: "First and only cast" with the attached image of a 20+ inch brown. Not bad Bart!