Yes Ard, Russell is a very cool guy. He was a little up in the air about his schedule, and wasn't sure he could make it to meet up with us. He txt'd me about 20 mins before my phone lost reception with a message of 'good luck' and that he had some things come up... He later txt'd that he could be there in about an hour-- I didn't get the txt. So it was a very nice surprise when he did show up.
Being a warm water guy, I had a steep learning curve about drifting a nymph without an indicator-- the first several hours were slow fishing wise (due to my inexperience with the situation)-- but the conversation made up for the slow fishing.
After I figured out that my mend had to be almost immediate after the line landed, and after casting directly up stream and watching how my bug was acting as it came back to me-- I could translate that into casting to the feeding lanes and I did much better. I missed a handful, but the takes at the end of the drift were definite and I ended up with 7 fish plus the lunker from the picture.
you cold water guys sure do tie some tiny flies and really have to be cognizant of what your fly/ line is doing... I normally cast to Bass-- they will take a styrofoam cup from the local quick shop-- presentation be damned!
All in all, it was a very nice time-- I learnt a lot about line control-- and tying smaller patterns-- The fish really liked size 18 zebra midges-- I hope to be able to spend more time chasing these beautiful fish in the fantastic environs that they occupy.