I will start this post by using the same addiction metaphor that I have used so many times and describe this weekend the best way possible as “Binge Fishing.” I had stayed away from the river this past week in hopes of hitting the Delaney Butte Lakes as pain free as possible. We arrived at around 6:00p.m. Thursday evening and after a long and tedious 14 minutes of setting up camp and the pontoon boats it was on to the fishing. We fished our pontoons till dark and after I quit Cat pulled out her 8 weight. Her first time streamer night fishing was a success with two beautiful browns to the net. Friday and Saturday were nearly identical waking up by 7:30, having a bowl of oatmeal, and then in the pontoons till 1:00 or so when the wind would pick up. Then a quick snack and a 3 minute drive to South Delaney Lake to show the shore line cruisers how we do it P-town style. Then it was back to camp by 6:00pm for a quick bite to eat and the back on the pontoons till dark. Sunday was following the same pattern till on the way back to camp we decided that we were exhausted and were actually fished out. Like tweaking for three days straight only we didn’t stop because we ran out of money.
The Delaney Lakes were in prime condition with fishing being as close to off the hook as it can get. The Chironomids were hatching at blizzard like proportions and my brother in law Jim caught his biggest Rainbow ever, a fatty at just over 21 inches. My personal “George Washington” (In The Shadows of Greatness; Part 1) Mark was on fire as always hooking fish seemingly every time I looked over at him. Cat and I caught so many fish that next time we go we will install an Abacus on our boats to keep track.
It is funny how terms we use so often can really slap you in the face when you see things a little differently. For example we throw around the terms “football and toad” for any fish that look like it’s not starving and then when we catch the North Delaney footballs we feel a little sheepish we had ever used those terms before. The first rainbow I landed Thursday evening I can honestly say was the absolute biggest 19 and a half inch rainbow I had ever landed. In the video, Cat is fighting a 19 inch bow on her 8weight and the fish puts an absolute charge into her saltwater rod. Several of the fish while being anchored were strong enough to actually spin our boats. My new Winston B3-SX 6 weight passed the test with an A++ rating giving me all the power and feel I needed. The saddest part of the whole weekend was looking back at the pics and the look on my face gives the impression that I was not nearly as excited with the fish as I really was. I will blame the look on either the constant beatdown from the sun or possibly from my lack of regularity from eating camp food.
We finished with so many pics that the only way we felt like we could do the weekend justice was to make a short video. As I have been saying over the last month and seeing today’s flows on the Arkansas this type of fishing is an awesome way to curb that affliction of addiction that we all have (refer to Addicts on the Arkansas question number 16). The tactics we use are just as successful on Antero, Spinney or most of the mid elevation lakes. If you are interested at all in this type of fishing please contact us at The Drift and we can steer you in the right direction, but be prepared for both the mental and physical fatigue that accompany fighting true Footballs…As always thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the video. Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop….