Some people are just born anglers. Loren Elliott is one of those people. Loren is 14 years old and already an amazing angler. I first met Loren when he was 10. His dad Doug, who is himself a very accomplished angler, booked me for a guide trip on the East Carson river. We had a fun day and fishing with them stayed in my mind. Two summers later, Doug called the shop and booked me again. As soon as i arrived i rememberd them. We went down to the East Carson again to see how Loren's skills had improved. Right off the bat Doug hooked a huge rainbow. It made a massive jump then headed for Gardnerville. I figured i better work with Loren for a bit and get him into a fish or two. I quickly realized Loren had himself grown into a great angler. He proceeded to stick some really nice fish.
Loren is one of those few chosen people who just have this great energy that surrounds them. He has amazing fish karma. Part of it is he is just a good angler. Very attentive and great at presenting the fly. The rest of it is he just has a young innocence that the karmatic fish gods seem to love. He is one of the most blessed anglers i have ever had the pleasure of fishing with. When ever we go out all the elements just seem to line up perfectly and the fishing seems to always be good. This past summer i had the pleasure of getting to spend several days fishing with Loren. One of the occasions that really stands out in my mind is a day we spent on Caplse Lake in June. Loren was 13 at the time and had never fished Caples. I love to fish lakes in the summer and Caples in one of my favorites. I grew up on Hwy 88 and have been fishing Caples for over 20 years. I particularly like fishing from the shore. Sight fishing is very challenging and takes a very patient angler. I figured Loren would be able to stick it out and get a shot or two. He is a great listener and eager to learn.
After a short walk we reached the water. I made Loren stop and set up his rod. I told him you never know when you will see the first fish, so be ready. Loren bent down and picked up a discarded can. I told him as a general rule, i usually catch one fish for each piece of trash i pickup on my way down the the river or lake. When Loren was done assembling his rod we walked to the waters edge. We crept out of the trees to a rock on the side of a cove. We both cupped our hands over our glasses to block the sun and looked into the water. Immediately Loren said "I think i see one". Sure enough there was a nice looking brown with his head down right in front of us. When i saw the size of it i began to panic. I tired to stay calm and said "Loren, slowly unhook your fly and try to put a cast about 10 feet in front of him at 3 O'clock." Loren unhooked his fly, striped off the perfect amount of line and placed a perfect cast first time. The fish turned, inspected the fly and proceeded to inhale it. I couldn't believe it. As soon as he felt the hook he headed for deep water. He burned out of that cove and was out into the lake, and loren was in his backing in a matter of seconds. I asked loren what tippet he was using. He said he had put 6x on. i thought that was it. I have never seen a fish that far away landed with 6x, Just then the fish turned and we could see a huge golden flash as it headed for a pile of stumps that were on top of submerged island. I thought this is it he gone. But Loren applied the perfect pressure and turned the fish just right and pulled his super extended line over the stumps. I said stay on him! It was like nothing i have ever seen. Several minutes later that seemed like a month, we landed the biggest fish i had ever seen landed on a fly rod from the shore of a high Sierra lake. It was a male brown that measured 27 inches, and weighed in at around 8 pounds. That was loren's first cast into Caples Lake. He caught it with a 3 wt. rod, 6x tippet, and a size 14 dry may fly pattern. It was simply amazing. It seemed that picking up that piece of trash on the way down really paied off.
Over the course of the summer we had many other memorable day together. Loren is a great angler and a great kid. You can see some of the his fishing exploits in the upcoming release of FISH EYE 3 Get Bent!