The fishing had been decent in the morning on the day we fished the Cimarron, but with a belly full of elk sausage for lunch, I just knew the afternoon was going to get better. Nick and I drove to another spot up river just below the Palisades cliffs, and feeling a little sleepy from our high-caloric lunch, we lazily made our way to a nice hole that fell under a tree branch that extended into the middle of the river.
I found it a bit challenging to get the cast right with very little opportunity for a back cast and the need for more of a sidearm cast to get into the hole. I found my fly short, several feet to the side of where I wanted it to land and finally stuck up in the branch of the tree. We (well I should say Nick) retrieved it without having to walk through the hole and he decided it was time for a short casting lesson, and I readily agreed.
We must have been in the middle of the river for 10 minutes or so before Nick looked back up stream and said, “Holy shit! There’s a huge fish in the middle of the river!”
He quickly grabbed my rod and changed the fly to a single salmon-colored egg and nothing else. I asked him if he wanted to make the cast, and he refused. His casting lesson had been well worth my time because although my first cast landed about a foot to the right of the fish, my second cast landed about 8 inches right in front of the fish and he took the egg! Without a net, it was critical for me to manage this fish properly so he didn’t get away, and that I did well.
The brown trout that I caught was the biggest Nick has seen on the Cimarron in ten years. The fish even received the dubious honor of Fish Friday on Taos Fly Shop’s Facebook page. I’m sure it didn’t care about having its photo up on the Internet!