Walking out of our schools chapel after they surprisingly announced our seasonal “Head’s Holiday,” a day completely free of classes, sports, or other commitments, I was keeping my ears peered for my teacher and fellow angler John Lin. Speculating the night before that the Heads Holiday could be today, we had our gear packed up and were driving away within a couple minutes. We were heading down the the pemi below the dam in Bristol, NH, only about 20 minutes away. Earlier in the season they have a Broodstock Atlantic Salmon program that stocks this section with many big, strong salmon. Having never caught a salmon I was ready to get hooked into some. We spent the morning testing out orange streamers and even some large dries, but none of us had luck until we dead drifted soft hackles. Mr. Lin was the first to pull in a strong salmon on his 5 weight.
Moving downstream, wading out to cast into the deeper channel, I spot a large salmon holding between 2 rocks just a mere 3 or 4 feet away.I back up slowly and drift my nymph in front of it while I watch it refuse. I change my fly 2 more times till finally, with a small Rainbow Warrior, I watch the white of the mouth open up and I set the hood in a swift rod to the sky motion. A short 45 seconds later my line went slack and I watched the fish swim into the depths. It was fun to get out there and practice my sight fishing, but I’m looking forward to actually get my hands on one of these salmon.