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Old 01-11-2012, 08:00 PM
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Default Preserving a memory...

Some of you may remember this report from back in July. If not, a brief reminder. Those of you that know me, know that I am almost mad in my pursuit/thinking about pursuing brown trout. It is one of my absolute favorite fish and the times of actually catching them seems few and far between.

Almost a year ago I finally gave in and booked a guided trip on the white river to catch my first. I caught plenty on that trip, and big ones. Then I discovered fly fishing. Not long after, I discovered there were some brown trout in a stream about an hour from me. The guy that informed me of this offered to take me on my birthday. I left work early and booked it to the stream before dark. We had a short walk through this to get there....

Click the image to open in full size.

After entering the water, I could already see fish rising all around. The fog was pretty thick on the water, making it difficult to see your fly. The water......

Click the image to open in full size.

So at first I tried a nymph. I caught several small browns. Nothing worth bragging about, but these were my first on a fly rod, so still special. As it began to get darker, I decided to tie on a dry fly, a yellow humpy. I had read enough to know browns begin to feed more at dawn and dusk. I thought maybe a dry fly would increase my odds. I made several casts with no luck. The fog was still thick, so I had to listen for the takes. I am pretty sure I missed a couple. After what I thought were my last few futile casts, I hear a loud take. I set the hook and feel a pretty good pull back. This fish was bull dogging me, and hard. All I could think was, "Please God let me land this fish." I am one of those people that would rather not catch anything than catch something and lose it. The fight is not lengthy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was fun. Exponentially more fun than the few other dinks I had caught earlier. After several net attempts, I have it! My first brown on a dry fly, and on my birthday no less!

Click the image to open in full size.

The fish measured 13". While not what I considered a large trout, it was a decent size for that river, as any brown seems to be an exception rather than the norm. I can't explain that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that I had after that catch, but I am sure those of you that have had similar experiences with your favorite fishes, know what I am talking about. You walk out of the river with your head held high knowing that nothing can take that memory from you.

To complete the experience, as we were walking out of the stream there were fireflies EVERYWHERE. A real fitting conclusion to the day. Since then, I have caught a brown a little larger there, and countless smaller ones but that first one really is the one that I remember. SO I came across a blog a while back where a guy does some commission work with painting, specifically fish. I decided I wanted to get the picture painted and framed with that yellow humpy to capture that memory forever on my wall. It's no 150 lb tarpon, nor a 10 lb bass, or even the largest brown I will ever catch, but it brings back fond memories of my first brown trout on a dry fly. It didn't take long for the work to be completed. It is on its way to me as I type this.

Some pictures.....

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

When I receive the painting and get it framed, I will post a pic of the final work. The last pic above is almost finished, but I haven't seen the final work yet. If any of you are interested in doing this, let me know and I will forward you the info. It's not as much as you might think. Plus it's artwork for the wall, and not just some random fish, but one that has meaning to you.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

I think that's a very cool idea. Hope you enjoy it for many years.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

Cool picture.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

Looks like the painting will be stunning, can't wait for you to post the final piece.

Dave
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

I like that idea; what a great heirloom to pass on as well!
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

Final product....
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

When i catch my first steelhead, i'll need that info!
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

Great looking painting and a much better way to capture memories than pictures. Especially my pictures, which somehow welded themselves all together in a solid clump that I had to throw out. At least I don't have to worry about a fire destroying all my pictures.

Here are paintings done by a friend of mine on shingles that my sister commissioned him to do for me (after he got good at painting). He didn't start painting until he was about 70 years old, and his early attempts resembled my daughter's "paint by the numbers" attempts when she was little. But he stuck with it with the tenacity that he showed on the flats and got very good at it.

He was a photographer by trade, like both the other two of my closest fly fishing partners were. I'd liked to have had a copy of the picture of him with the biggest bonefish I've ever seen a picture of, just a few oz shy of a fly record, which he caught about 120 yds from here.

After his health failed and he became too weak to fish, I'd get calls from him ocassionally saying, " Jim, there's two bones working their way toward the dock and one of them is NICE." He knew I kept a rod rigged downstairs, of course, and would glass the flats from my deck, but that I couldn't see the flat toward the south. So he'd give me a heads up when he saw a good one.

Well, hopefully, new memories will continue being made for a while longer - not on this flat, but others.

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Old 01-14-2012, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

Touching story and reportmrl0004
the painter did a great job
Nice pics too wjc
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Preserving a memory...

That was good! When it comes to the 'something worth sharing' department you have my complements on this thread; very nice.

Ard
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