I didn’t enjoy near as much free time as I’d hoped on my recent (bidness) trip up north, but I did get a chance to sneak out for a half day of fishing with my good buddy Quinton. “Agent Q” is a native Vermonter, and he’s passionate about his trout. He took me and my friend David deep into the woods to a healthy, scenic little mountain stream that courses through a dark canopy of trees. We scared up some nice brookies and whiffed on some nice strikes, but it was the way the trip started that is memorable. While Quinton and David pulled on their boots and rigged up atop a small bridge, I made a short, casual cast into the water below.
A large fish rose from a deep cut, sucked down the fly and headed to parts unknown. We all scrambled down the bank as one, rods and tackle flying everywhere. The trout battled hard, testing my little 4-weight, but after a few minutes it slid into Q’s net for a quick pic or two. My first Vermont brown trout — a bonafide 19″ native (a fly fishing feat for such a small stream, I’m told), it’s butter-yellow sides stippled with red and black markings. She was released unharmed. I’ve done my best since to pass off blind luck as consummate skill. No takers so far.