2008 FFF Southern Council Conclave — Youth Conclave

For some reason, I thought I had posted this trip report previously — but I guess I didn’t. I had the pleasure of helping out at the 2008 Southern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers Youth Conclave about a month ago. I don’t know if you could consider what I got to do helping out or not, as I got to take an insanely cool 13yo guy fly fishing for the morning.Kevin Miquelon (the Chair of the 2008 Youth Conclave) entrusted me with taking his son on Dry Run Creek the day of the Youth Conclave (truth be told, I actually begged Kevin prior to the trip….but whatever). The plan was for me to meet Peter about an hour or so ahead of everyone else, so we could get an early start. Well, the combination of a killer party thrown by the Free State Fly Fishers combined with the need to break camp that morning left me rolling into the parking lot of Dry Run Creek well hung-over and running late, but excited to hit the stream with Peter. I rolled in and Peter was suited up and ready to hit the stream. With the temps we were having, I passed over the waders and just threw on my wading socks and boots and after re-rigging his rod with a red san juan worm, we were off.

Our first stop and I got to gauge Peter’s casting ability — which was very good. We started sight fishing to a couple of bruisers and within 20 minutes Peter was hooked up with a fish that went an easy 25″ (probably the biggest fish we fished to all morning). It was a big brown trout that was just sitting on the bottom, gathering energy. After a few minutes of the fish not moving, I had Peter put a little more pressure on the fish (we were fishing with 5x tippet) and the fish bolted down stream. As we were walking downstream, I handed the video camera of to Mike Hoffmeyer (and gave him hardly any instruction on how to use it) just in enough time to see Peter’s line go underneath an undercut bank. His indicator was hung up on the upstream side, and I could just make out the fish under the undercut — so I did what anyone wanting to land that fish would have done. I wet waded into the waste deep water and made one valiant attempt at netting the beast; only to get my hat handed to me (on film). I felt incredibly bad for Peter, as the fish was definitely a PIG — but the fish won this one. I promptly let Peter put a boot to my ass on the stream and I apologized emphatically about losing his fish for him. He was cool, and was ready to catch another one.

We worked our way upstream and he picked up fish with ease on the red worm. For those that have never been to Dry Run Creek it is a really neat place to take kids. We sight fished to the larger fish and picked them up every so often. In the end, I think he caught 4 fish that went close to 20″ with only one of them occurring on camera (the other fish we got on camera went about 16″ or so). To be honest, we had so much fun fishing — we forgot about the camera at times. He did get several hook-ups with some hot fish and I am not sure who had a better time me or Peter.

We were having so much fun in fact, Peter wanted to keep fishing instead of going up to grab lunch with the rest of the Youth Conclavers….which was REALLY cool. We got up near the top of the stream and ran into Kent Campbell and his wife who were watching us fish. Kent was like a dog begging for scraps at the table, wanting to come down to the stream and help with Peter so we invited him down and the 4 of us had a blast fishing midges to some of the fish before heading back to break for a drink and lunch.

Since I got to spend the morning with Peter, I gracefully bowed out so Kent could spend the afternoon working with him and headed over to the Spring River to fish for a bit before heading home. All in all, I got to say that the Youth Conclave was a great time and one of the reasons I hope to be back next year to help out.

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