With a newly tied rig, I was even more confident in my casting and accuracy. I was pulling out all the tricks: pile casting in front of pocket water so my fly drifted down slowly and without disturbance, reach casting to insure a long drift, and single hand spey casting to allow me to get my line out quickly with very little effort. The intricate twirls and loop I need to perform this spey cast gives the illusion I am simply looping my line all around me, ending with a short pointing of my fly rod to send my fly at a target. Because of the theatrics of it all, Terry had nicked named this cast Erik’s Zorro cast.
Wouldn’t you know it, out of all the special casting it was the standard overhand cast that did the trick. My fly line shot forward, yet I kept my rod tip high, allowing my fly line and flies to overextend so my flies would hit the water first. SMACK! Another brown trout took my green beetle, and I had it landed in no time at all. Terry was kind enough to snap a quick picture of it without stopping the boat.
I quickly released my fish and flicked my fly line back out near the bank.
“We can swap out any time, Terry.” I said, but still had my eye on my popper.
“Aw, you can fish for a bit longer.” He said.
“Well, whenever you want to switch I’m good.” I said, making another cast.
“Well, maybe I’ll stop then.” He said, and put his foot down on the foot-trigger to release rope for the anchor. I was right in mid-cast when I heard Terry yelling,“AW HELL!”
Terry shot out of his seat and was in full sprint towards the back of the boat, and without any hesitation he leapt out of the boat as if he was performing the long jump in track and field. I, on the other hand, had seen this before: Terry had released too much rope out of his boat to the point that the anchor was no longer secured to it. Anchors themselves can run about $130 to start, so it was no surprise when I saw him jump into action.
Terry landed with a splash on the slick rocks of the river, but was in perfect balance. He went to grab the rope to stop the boat as I quickly set my rod down and climbed behind the oars just in case he couldn’t stop the boat. Terry pulled the rope as if he was playing tug-of-war with the boat. Once it was stopped, he immediately turned to look for the anchor, while pulling the boat upstream with him.
“Do you see it?” I asked, also looking from the boat.
“Not yet.” Terry answered back, looking intently.
“This is one of those times when you wish you had painted your anchor bright orange.” I said.
“Found it!” Terry said, completely submerging his arm and pulling up his anchor.
“Yeaaah!” I yelled, as Terry carried it over to me.
“The only problem is, I’m not sure how to rig the anchor back through the boat.” Terry said.
“I know how. I had to do it twice on this very river last year.”
“Well, let’s put on the new rope I bought.” Terry said, pointing to where it was stored. I pulled it out and together we tied the knots needed and started threading the rope through Terry’s boat.
“I knew I would do this someday, I just didn’t think it would be here.” Terry said, looking around.
“No better scenery.” I added, while threading the last bit of the rope through the anchor latch, and the process was complete.
“That's a nice looking rope there, Terry!” I said.
“Yeah!” He said back.
“You know, when you jumped off the back of the boat, I was glad we were not over one of those deeper holes that would have put the water over your head.”
Terry laughed. “I didn’t even think of that!”
“Well you saved the anchor, and for that...” I opened up the cooler and pulled out a colorful bag, “... you deserve some M&Ms!”
“I forgot you had those in there!” Terry said, scooping up a handful and popping them in his mouth. I too took a fair amount of the little chocolate candies and popped them in my mouth. The chill from the cooler helped the flavor to last a bit longer, and it was just what the doctor ordered before we went back to fishing.
Both Terry and I switched off and on the rest of the way down the river, with only this little brown trout to show for our efforts. I would sometimes laugh out of nowhere while replaying Terry’s heroic moment to save his anchor, and that usually got Terry to laugh as well.
Both Terry and I stood with our arms in the air as the Google car stayed still for a long period of time. We were hoping to get in the picture looking goofy, but after some time with no evidence of a picture, we put our arms back down because we felt stupid. We may not have been in the Google Maps picture, but it was nice to end the trip on a fun float down the Madison River, knowing I would be back in less than a month.