Sunday, for the second time, I went with a friend on the water. The first time we went out, we alternated prime spots for each hole. I ended up with the only 2 fish on the day. I attributed it to that the fishing was slow.
Yesterday, I decided to give him every hole first. The morning started off slow, but finally around 10:30-11am, the fishing started to pick up for me. He had moved on ahead and I stayed at a hole for about an hour picking up fish after fish. I was hopeful that he was having similar success knowing that he was also working some previously very productive holes.
Eventually, I moved ahead to see how he was doing. I was dismayed to find that he had not caught anything, nor had a strike. Perhaps these holds were void of fish today, or the fish just weren't hungry. As he moved on, I hit the hole getting into a number of white fish, and even a couple more brown trout. So I figured, OK it's not that the fish aren't biting, he's doing some wrong. So After he finished exploring I took him back down to the most productive hole on this stretch of the stream. I showed him where to cast his fly, and worked on having him mend. He still wasn't having much luck. Eventually he got a wind knot, so while he worked that out, I put a cast into the seam and pulled out a decent white fish.
After that, we looked closer at his setup. He was fishing a weighted nymph, but did not have a weight on the line. We added a sinker to his line and tried again. I worked on him opening up his cast, as he threw off the first sinker in short order. Then we worked on his mend. Then on one good cast through the seam, he got a solid take, but missed the hook set. A few casts later, he didn't miss the set and soon brought his first mountain whitefish to hand. As he was unbuttoning his fish, I cast into the hole and promptly had a tank of a fish on the line. We could easily see the fat slab of whitefish on the end of my 3 weight rod. I managed to bring him to net. he was curious how big he was, so I broke out the tape measure, and he measured out to a whopping 18 3/4". Certainly not a bad size fish to pull out of a stream that I can almost jump across. After that, I had to head home to spend the afternoon with my family. He stayed at the stream. Hopefully finding a few more lunkers to bring to net or hand.
My friend has the basics down quite well. However, he mainly fishes still waters. So didn't have a full grasp on reading the water, and what it takes to keep your fly on a natural drift. Hopefully the tips I gave him, helps him grow, and soon he'll be slaying the moving water as I did yesterday.
So my lesson today for anglers is, if you are hitting loads of fish, but your fishing partner isn't, then take a second to examine what they're doing. With a few simple tips you might be able to help make their day more enjoyable on the water too. Fishing is always better when all are feeling a tug at the end of their rod.