Fly-Fishing Picture of the Day: Newbie Brown


Written by: Phil Monahan

James McKinney

James McKinney with a fine Jackson River brown trout.

photo by Mark McKinney

That’s a pretty good trout James McKinney holds in this picture, but it gets a little more impressive when you realize he just started fly fishing in December. I went many years before I caught a fish that big. I’m sure it helps that James’s brother is guide Mark McKinney, who tells the story:

We started the float during a morning-long downpour. After catching one or two in the 15-inch range, James finally connnected with a good fish.

We were fishing the Jackson River tailwater in Virginia. About halfway throught the float, I was standing in the middle of the river, when I heard my brother yell at me. I looked up, and next thing I know, my raft is floating down the middle of the river. They had increased the flow on the dam from 300cfs to 750cfs with no warning! That water turned brown, full of logs and debris, and started running very fast. We didnt get another bite until just before the take-out, when James landed this 20-incher.

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