Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Delaware

So, last year's 40th birthday trip to the Delaware River Club was so enjoyable that I decided to make the trip an annual event. The first 2 days of May were spent at the DRC receiving casting instruction and floating the East Branch of the river. My instructor / guide for the 2 days was Bob Lewis. Bob was just what the Dr. ordered. His instruction was first rate and done in such a fashion that, even when I asked a ridiculously obvious question, Bob made me feel at ease and that no question was to stupid.

The first few hours of each morning were spent on the expansive lawn of the DRC working on casting technique. When it comes to dry fly fishing and casting, I've pretty much been self taught and I've picked up some bad habits as a result. Bob was very patient and thorough as he worked through my poor initial attempts at target casting.

After lunch, we headed out to float the East Branch of the Delaware. I've been out with guides a few times and, for the most part, I have found that guides tend to be full service. By that I mean, they choose your fly, tippet material, tie the fly on and basically get you to a point where all you need to do is cast. Well, Bob threw that out the window immediately. I had just swiveled around in my chair when he hands me a fly and says - " ok, tie this one on " - oh shit, was the first thought that came to mind. You see, I tie a decent clinch knot however, I have snapped off enough fish to know it needs work. Tying my fly on for a native Delaware trout is another story. After I hooked and landed my first brown, I flashed a nervous look of relief to Bob.

18.5" Brown
Bob asked about the look on my face and I mentioned my concern about my knot tying ability and snapping off the fish. Bob's response was invaluable...he told me that he could have tied the fly on for me but how would I ever learn something if others are doing it for me. That was the key to all of my instruction with Bob. Bob's point also made mea realize that it's ok to mess up, as long as you can learn from the mistake you made, improve and move forward. For those who have fished the Delaware, you know the fish are easily spooked. For 2 days, we fished glass smooth water with barely a current. Another part of Bob's plan was to teach me that if I could drift a fly on this surface and get a fish to eat that I could do the same thing on any other water as this surface is most difficult.

During day 1, fish were taken on Hendricksen's and day 2 with caddis and March browns. All in all, a fantastic trip with a guide that I would not hesitate to float with given the chance. Already thinking about a day trip to float again this summer...

another beauty


  1. Nice report on what was a wonderful trip. It's a big river and needs the experience of a guide, this will enable you to hold such a great fish.

    1. Thanks Alan...my guide could not have been better. He had me on fish for 2 days - had my skills been sharper I'm sure there would have been more pictures - still a great time!