August 1, 2010

Jonathan Fishes the San Juan River with Andy Kim!

For those of you that haven't read the former post on fishing the San Juan, you should to get the background on the River. Read it first here:

Having met master guide Andy Kim a couple of weeks ago, and knowing that Jonathan would be here soon, I decided to hire Andy for a day to help us catch those big San Juan Trout!  Andy's been guiding & fishing the River for over sixteen years, and has developed his own fool-proof systems and flies for use with his clients.  He specializes in wade fishing, and has very high success with his customers.  After reading this post, should you decide to fish the San Juan, Jonathan and I highly recommend Andy for your first day.  You won't regret it, I caught more fish, of larger size with Andy's coaching in a single day than Ken & I had for the entire week before!  Be sure to click on "Andy's YouTube" in the left sidebar to view tha great video he shot of us on the water.  And if you're wondering, all the photos & videos are part of his service!

We got an early start, and Andy was surprised to see the light fog layer rising above the water when we first reached the Kiddie Hole.  I knew from that moment that we'd have a great day!

We were barely in the water before Andy had us rigged up with a couple of "Young's Special" and after a little coaching had turned me loose and was working with Jonathan.  Since Jonathan had never held a fly rod, Andy's efforts included teaching this first timer the in's & out's of casting and mending the line.

His patience with a twelve year old student was amazing.  He actually mentioned he loves to teach kids - unlike us adults, they haven't learned any bad habits like me! My bass fishing experience doesn't apply to fly fishing at all.

I decided to move a little upstream and was soon rewarded with a nice "hookup". Even though it fought like a monster, turned out to be a fifteen incher.

Jonathan sees the action, and moves up beside me in one of Andy's "honey holes" and proceeds to get a nice one on almost immediately.  Interesting how fast kids pick up on new things.

Turns out it's a nicer one....

And before long Jonathan nails the biggest one for the day (Well that doesn't include the 22" 4pounder I fought for about 15 minutes only to lose due to a pulled out hook!)

More and more nice fish come quickly and easily as we gain confidence and technique.

Then there are those that even jump out of your wet hands!

In order to give Jonathan a break, Andy took him aside and let him catch some samples of bugs & baitfish...yummy trout food indeed.

As the day progresses, I look around the Kiddie Hole and realize that with Andy's system we are outcatching all the other fishermen by a factor of eight or ten to one.  What a great way to learn and have lots of fun while doing it!

Finally the time came to get Jonathan into the netting action.  Armed with Andy's big net, but a very fiesty fish on "Pop's" line, Jonathan makes multiple tries before bagging the fast critter, without knocking him off the line!

We end the day with some instruction of another kind - beaver dam destruction.  Yep, the breavers dam up the free flowing waters, trapping trout in the process.  With little water flow, and no food the trout soon die in the beaver ponds.

I think Jonathan had the most fun of the day right hear, he especially enjoyed having the honor of taking out the last big piece of this huge jigsaw puzzle...
So ended a great day on the River with a great instructor - Andy Kim!