It turns out that Jack Hunter was a very serious Fly Fishermen. That early evening, Billy and Jack set up their fly rods, tied on new tippets, and choose flies to start the session. Jack had driven them both up stream, in the older model land cruzer, some two miles to a lovely glide of a pool that was tree lined on the far side of the river, and clear casting on their side, with only short grass in the back cast. It was an easy part of the stream to read, the current for the most part, ran along the far bank, most of the good trout would be holding in the current, either under over hanging branches, or, in the deepest part of the run. Both men sat on the bank to observe the situation, in hopes of finding a surface feeding trout. The sun had just started to set, but, it was still good light to see, when Jack pointed and said ” there, did you see it? Just about half way down the bank, it was a very large trout. It looked like he fed on a Sedge”. Bender replies, ” yes, I agree, it looked huge, nice take on the surface, caddis take for sure”. ” OK my boy, your up, lets see what your made of”, came from a confident Jack Hunter. Billy, moved into the water from well below where the two had spotted the rise. He moved slowly and quietly in position in order to get the good cast and drift. He checked his knot and his # 14 CDC Caddis fly, he pulled his line off the reel and began to cast. Jack was startled at the line speed, the tight loops, and the accuracy in which Billy presented the fly just a few feet above where the two had spotted the rise. Billy is an excellent Fly Fishermen, and Jack took notice. The first cast was perfect, the fly landed straight and soft just three feet above where the large fish was last seen, it was dead on, a perfect drift, just as the anticipation was at it’s zenith, a nose appeared and the trout eat the white winged imposter. Bender set the hook on cue, and the battle began, the enormous brown trout was air-born that instant it felt the hook. Jack jumped up off the bank and yelled,” Well done”, Billy was in the zone, completely in focus with the fight in hand. The golden brown beauty made some fast runs up and down the bank, but never did try to leave the pool. Within minutes, Bender had his hand under the belly of the largest brown trout he had ever caught. Jack was in the water next to him with full approval of the task that was just completed. Jack barked out,” what a beauty, well done, that was quite a show!”, Billy had the trout just above the surface of the water in complete admiration of such a spectacular specimen. Jack announced ” this trout must be a good 12 lbs!, At least!” Billy squatting in the river, turned and looked at Jack and said ” Thank You, this is the best trout I’ve ever caught”. Just then, Bender faced the mammoth into the current, moved it’s tail in a back and forth until the giant slipped back into the dark green pool of the Hunter River, to give another person the thrill of a lifetime.
On the drive back to the house it was dark, the headlights moved in a jilted way, illuminating the rough, gravel road, that had endless rabbits scouring off the sides and into the darkness. There was a calmness within the two men, a sense of comfort that words were not necessary, instant friends. Heddy was at the back door with a huge smile, to welcome them back, and see how the fishing concluded. The tall elegant beauty asked,” Any Luck?”, Jack kissed Heddy on the cheek and said , ” I witnessed something tonight, I’m not sure I will ever see again. A 12lb brown trout caught with a Dry Fly on the first cast , brought to hand in record time. Mr Bender is quite a Fly Fishermen, maybe the best I’ve ever seen”.
The girls were getting a bit weary from the long days hike, and were looking forward to getting to the Hut so they could rest and get something to eat. It had been raining off and on during the hike, and the temps went from warm to cool, to warm to cold, throughout the duration of the day. It was rain coats on, then off, then on, it seemed better with the coats on due to the sand flies that were constantly biting any exposed skin they could dig into. Mark was in great shape and hiked with a fast pace, going head and having to wait for the girls to catch up.
Jane and Kelly both were warn out when they finally approached the steps of the wooden hut, a square wooden building that was small but cozy. Inside was a very small kitchen, and three sets of bunk beds, the bath was an out house about 25 yards away. No running water, but near all the huts were small streams with crystal clear water to cook with or drink. Kelly collapsed on the first bed she found vacant, ” oh my god, I’m so tired I’m not sure I want to even eat”, exclaimed the tall redhead. Mark was there ahead of the girls and had started cooking well before their arrival . Jane was wondering where Marks pack was, ” Mark, where are you sleeping” asked the ever gorgeous Jane. Mark, “outside, it’s such a warm night, and the clouds have cleared off , I thought it might be more fun to sleep out “, Jane perks in with a ” Perfect, I’ll join you” Mark asks, ” anyone for a glass of wine”? Both girls light up with a lively “YES”, and the three toast to making the first leg of the trek.