|-- Harrison Anglers --|
Nine years ago, my son Matt, bought me a fly rod for Christmas. Six years ago, Matt convinced me to float a Western Massachusetts river with Harrison Anglers. Before that float, I had caught a few bass and bluegills on the fly, but salmonids continued to elude me. Tom Harrison, our guide on that float, put us on fish and I caught my first trout that day on an olive woolly bugger. I didn't know what I was doing then and probably forgot to tip (sorry Tom), but it was a memorable day. Thanks to Tom's patience and guidance, all aspects of my fly fishing game improved and I started having success with catching trout.
Fast forward 6 years and 2 days, I'm getting in a drift boat with Dan Harrison to float the same river with my striper mentor, Mark. This float turned out to be my best trout day ever.
|Dan Harrison preps the drift boat|
Both Mark and I wanted to streamer fish so Dan set us up with some nice gear. Mark used his Sage 6 wt and I used an Orvis Helios II, 6 wt tip flex with Cheeky Ambush Reel and a Scientific Anglers Streamer Express Line. It is a sweet setup that was a perfect rig for the slightly fast water that day.
|Orvis Helios II, Cheeky Ambush and Scientific Anglers Streamer Express|
|Dan's streamer selection|
Dan knew when to pull anchor and drift to the next spot. He kept us on fish all day.
|Floating to the next spot|
|Nice little rainbow was the first fish of the day|
|Third fish to the net - a nice brownie|
We had reached a steep rapid and Dan strongly suggested that we get out and walk around while he navigated through it. Normally, he would just run it with his clients, but earlier in the week a client insisted on staying in the boat and ended up wet and cold the rest of the day.
|Dan navigated the rapid without a drop of water in the boat|
|Pink Tag 2015 # 87 from the Tags N' Trout Program|
I was having success with the olive bugger, but really wanted to fish my confidence fly -- the Slumpbuster. I gave an olive one to Dan and he graciously tied it on for me.
|The Olive and Black Slumpbusters were my money fly for the day|
|One of Mark's brownies being brought to net|
We took a brief stop for lunch and got back at it with more bows and browns.
|We had the river to ourselves|
The sun peaked out for a brief moment. It felt good between some of the stronger wind gusts.
|Sun on our backs|
|One of the larger stocked bows that day|
|Mark's hog of the day - 20+ inches|
|Some Oskar Blues Brew felt good in the afternoon|
Dan and Tom run a top shelf guide service and I whole heartly recommend them if you are looking to get into some fish in Massachusetts. They also guide for carp, shad and other seasonal species. Be sure to check out their Instagram feed @harrisonanglers to see all the happy clients and big fish.