Epicurean Angler-Matthew Supinski's Selectivity/Nexus Blog- Everything Trout/Steelhead/Salmon

Epicurean Angler-Matthew Supinski's Selectivity/Nexus Blog- Everything Trout/Steelhead/Salmon

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saga of my Biggest Brown on the Dry

My 27 1/2 inch brown I caught on the gray drake spinner fall over a week ago was my personal best on a dry. 26 was my previous pinnacle.

It was a cool sunny morning- not ideal conditions to catch a brown of your lifetime. Cloud cover with filtered Cirrus cloud sunlight would be better. Yet I was hoping that the gray drakes ( Siplonurus)  which have been too thick to fish in the past few evenings due to blanket hatches, would mate and spin in the AM, where I have had perfect hatch matching conditions in the past. Sometimes you catch a perfect "not-too-many" mating flights in the air in the mornings before noon that get big browns to feed for a very short duration- this day was not one of them I thought prematurely.

In a spot where I have seen some real donkeys in the past weeks feed, I posted my Stealthcraft and sat and waited...and waited. Almost an hour and a half went by without a cast. I sat there, worked on my phone and was ready to pack it in. All of a sudden some cirrus clouds showed up, a cold chill filled the air, and I had gray drake spinners above me. I continued to watch until a bowling ball explosion rise happened 12 feet below my jet engine." Holy Shit"... that is a big-ass brown! It sprayed water at me when it moved the surface so quickly. Suddenly pairs of drakes were coupling up- a very few but just enough.

So what has happened in that hour plus was the big brown got very comfortable with my boat, thought it was cover since it casted a shadow on the bottom and used the bubble line crated by my stern. If I would have been casting that would not have happened. Catching big browns is like turkey hunting, you have to assimilate to your surroundings and become a hunting predator, be still and wait.The old bullshit saying "can't catch a fish iof your line is not in the water" is foolish in big brown hunting.

After the second rise, on hands-and-knees I crawled to the back of the boat. With my dry fly already lubricated and dried, I did several dapping/roll/ underhand casts, and puddled the long 18 foot leader and let it uncoil drag free into the bubble lane where the fish rose 12 feet below the engine-SMASH!, surface explosion and the fish was on!
It tore downstream like a Maserati, "Mr. Big" jumped once 4 feet in the air cartwheeling like a steelhead , and peeled off backing on my Orvis 5 weight Helios and 3x tippet. I did everything to get the anchor up fast and floated with the boat for about 150 yards with the fish not exhausting . As I rounded the bend , I looked down and was glad my 45 inch steelhead/salmon net with long handle was there and ready. As it rounded the corner bend, it headed for a log-jam near shore and I beached the boat and ran out to chase it. Saying Hail Mary's...it was finally in the net by shore and I was spent!

That fish remained in my net as I went to my Pelican case and got my Nikon D850...the rest is what you see! The colors of this "wild" as we determined after I showed it to my local biologist friend remain spectacular, Abel reel matching to boot!