This past Summer, my brother and I hit the Rappahannock one last time before I relocated. Grad school called, I answered, and a move was imminent. So, we threw a canoe in the back of the truck, grabbed a few fly rods, loaded the cooler with ice cold goodies, and proceeded to float. The water was slightly cooler than the air. The sun broke through the clouds more often than not. Also, I don’t remember it being crazy hot, which means it wasn’t (based on the, you only remember the outliers, school of thought).
Arriving slightly after sunrise, the hermano spent the first hour or so wading the area just upstream from the put in, due to the fact that I had some big boy banking responsibilities to see to in town. Before I made the quick trip, I snapped a couple quick ones. I love the old man pictured below, wading as the sun crests over the greenery. I felt peaceful while watching him attempt to cast further than he could. I also felt relieved, because he was wading and we were going to float. So, not competition.
Like most fishing trips, this float always takes longer than estimated. You notice a newly fallen tree which creates great cover for your fish friends. You stop, get out, and throw a fly toward said tree. You continue to throw your fly to that same location, because you’re convinced you’re smarter than the fish and they should be there. You’re brother tells you to hurry the fuck up, because he knows you’re wrong and there are no fish there. You get angry at said brother and take even longer to get back into the canoe. This is all hypothetical of course. Additionally, no hard feelings exist over this delay for those partaking in the fishing trip – regardless of the words exchanged at that time. Yet, it possibly leads to the opposite for those waiting for your return. Especially, if you have a dinner date, or something of the sort lined up… Next time, just tac on a few extra hours to your generous estimate and take the visual scolding up front.
We landed lots of sunnies, a good number of smallies, a few baby stripers, and … maybe one of two other species. Oh yeah, I snatched decent catfish in on of the deeper holes. See, this is the problem with writing about something four months down the road. You forget, a lot. It’s unfortunate.
I do remember almost flipping towards the end. The end just so happens to be a prominent location for quite a few copperheads. To make things interesting, we just so happened to see a little copperhead swimming by our canoe right before we almost flipped. I may never again put forth quite the same effort to avoid flipping a canoe. I respect snakes, but man, I fear them greatly.
Another cool thing from this trip? Getting one of my favorite shots. I easily convinced my bro to take a dip with a smallie to get a lovely release on camera. He less than gracefully exited the canoe. Side note, use caution when exiting your vessel of choice. The water can be deeper than you think. He successfully missed his mark and slammed his knee into a rock upon dismount. Poor brother… This kind of shot, pictured below, always escapes my mind. Something to due with the heat of the moment, I suppose. This time, I controlled the excitement of that inner child and somehow remembered. I love this shot. It’s cool, but it also shows a gentle, controlled, skilled, and respectful side to fly fishing.
In the end, things such as these make life rather enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, almost everything I do, I rather enjoy. However, floating down a river on a nice, late Summer day with a fly rod and your own blood tops most.
P.S. Below are a few more shots from the day. Enjoy.