Monday, June 11, 2012

Phishing with Phil

As my wife and I have been a couple for over 20 years now, we have stopped trying to surprise each other with birthday or anniversary gifts. At this point, my better half will suggest something that she would like and I'll end up doing the same. So, after she came to me this year and mentioned that she was curious about the I-Robot, some bizarre little device that rolls around your house cleaning the floors, I promptly set about finding my birthday present.

I mentioned the Casting for Recovery website to her and how one of the items up for bid was a day of guided fishing on the famed Battenkill River in Vermont with Orvis blog editor Phil Monahan. Well, as luck would have it, I ended up as the high bidder...go figure. Casting for Recovery was founded in 1996, in Manchester Vermont and, if you are unfamiliar with this organization, I suggest you take a few  moments to check it out: http://castingforrecovery.org/home

The day with Phil was for up to 3 people however, I called my good friend Mike and put the plan in motion for him to meet me in VT. Mike is one of my favorite people...a good friend and lover of all things outdoors.

We met Phil at the wonderful hour of 5:30am, picked up fishing licenses and set about to find some fish. Gladly, that didn't take to long. I've read a bit related to the Battenkill and understand that a 1 or 2 fish day is to be considered a success. I had lots of worries of carrying the skunk up from CT and getting shut out. Thus, I was relieved that after 20 or so minutes of chucking streamers against the banks, I was rewarded with a beautiful brown trout.
photo credit: Phil Monahan
another victim of the Strolis H-A Snare streamer
For once, I really don't even know where to go with this post...this was one of the best overall days I have had on any river. Being able to fish with a good friend who I don't get to see often enough, fishing the Battenkill, having Phil there to provide pointers and, oh yeah, we caught some fish too!

Perhaps I'll let the images do the talking...

Brook trout on a dry fly
heaven on earth?
seeing good numbers of these little guys made Phil happy
The following image begins the next part of our day...fishing a smaller mountain stream for brookies...

Phil's balancing act
this used to be a road before Irene
lots of great pools and annoying bugs
Mother Nature finds a way
I have a much better appreciation for these small friends and only now, understand the thrill that fellow blogger, Brk Trt enjoys. Check out his blog for some truly wonderful commentary: http://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/

as Mike suggested, a butterfly orgy
Mecca...view of the Orvis HQ from the bass pond
As we decided to be prudent, for once, our day ended with some instruction at the Orvis bass pond and Phil explaining the double haul technique to me. His explanation was great, my attempt at execution, well, not so much. Deciding to pass on the dusk sulphur hatch as Mike and I both had decent rides home ahead of us, we ended the day. Thank you Phil, for donating your time and expertise to such a wonderful organization and I am fortunate to have had an opportunity to fish such great waters with you at our side. 


  1. Great post.
    I saw the results of Irene a few weeks ago. But with some time things will recover.
    Well done.

    1. Thanks Alan. It was good to see things recovering already!

  2. A fun day. Hurricanes do tend to trash the place.


    1. Indeed Mark...I think this was a 100 year storm for Vermont...let's hope to not see one for a good long time now.

  3. So that's who was bidding against me for the trip with Phil! Looks like you had a fantastic time. Great pictures!

    1. LOL, sorry Steve - perhaps next time we pool resources :) - it was a fun day - Phil's a good guy!

  4. Steve,
    great post, looks like a great time. Happy to hear that the snare snared a nice one for you!


  5. Thanks Rich...The snare lit is up again for me early this morning, streamers were off the charts!

  6. Nice! Now to get you comfortable throwing his big brother...LOL! Always a good time. Keep it coming, the blog is quite nice