Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jumpin' Jack Flash

Some call him Jake, others Jack, and to some, he is known as the Ginger Variant.  I'm talking about my great friend Jake Villwock.  Jake is a crazy dude and a really good guy.  We have spent a LOT of time fishing together all over the place.  From the many creeks and rivers of PA to the steelhead waters of Western NY, and nearly everything in between, we have probably done it.  Some of my favorite days on the water have been with this lunatic by my side.  One great trip that comes to mind was a blistery cold December day on the Salmon river in 2010.  I had been up quite a few times before in search of a big NY steelhead with no luck.  Jake has been obsessed with steelhead since his days as an Alaskan guide and while the fish of the Great Lakes region are not the big wild fish of Alaska, they are an outstanding fish nonetheless and Jake continues to pursue them with the same passion.  This passion was contagious and I began to make the 4 hour drive with Jake whenever I could.  After hours and hours on the water without success, it all came together in the snow, wind and freezing temperatures of a Great Lakes Winter storm.

 Jake and I on a June evening on the Tully

Jake had brought up two of his friends, Dyson and Lyon, from his hometown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Both Lyon and Dyson were relatively new to fly fishing, so we each decided to fish with one of them and show them the ropes of how to cast, mend and set the hook.  Jake headed upstream with Lyon and I walked to the bank with Dyson.  After about half an hour of giving Dyson a refresher on nymph fishing, I made a few casts.  Within minutes, Dyson called me up to give him a hand as he had just got a little tangled.  I walked up and got him back in the water.  As I was giving Dyson a few more tips, I kind of just flipped my rig into the water to keep it from getting tangled.  Suddenly, I watched the indicator stall and dunk under the water out of the corner of my eye.  I set hard out of instinct and I was in.  As I fought the fish, I yelled to Dyson to see if he could find Jake and Lyon upstream and have them come down.  After a few minutes, I had the fish in hand, but Jake was no where to be found.  Dyson and I snapped a few pictures and I released the fish back into the slow deep water.  Even though Jake wasn't there to see me land the fish, it was still an awesome experience and I'm grateful to have been able to "share" it with my great friend Jake.  Thanks for everything you've shown me buddy.  Here's to many more great days on the water together. 

My first NY Steelhead. Fought and landed with a broken finger and all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment