Today was Fishing Friday. When Fishing Friday presents itself you fish, no crying about the weather, flows or other petty concerns. Today I got up a half hour later than I do when I go to work. That means the day is already a bonus. Free parking, short walk to the ferry with all my essentials in hand/backpack/drybag. Arriving on the mysterious side of the Puget Sound my friend Ben rolled up and I loaded my gear. Since it was Fishing Friday I has sent a few feelers out to a few friends to see who could play for the day. Ben and Matthew were available and we carved out a plan to check out the mysterious land between the Sound and Cascade Foothills. I tend to talk a lot about people, places and things, so Ben applied the obligatory blindfold on my as soon as I was buckled and safe. About an hour of running time later the blindfold came off and we were in a muddy pothole filled gravel parking area next to a beautiful stretch of river. I'm not here for questions, it is Fishing Friday, let's get to fishing. While I was rigging up my new to me two hander Ben stepped out of earshot to let Matthew know where we were, still keeping his secrets close to the vest. A few minutes later I'm standing on the left bank stripping out the skagit 550. I found it to cast decent, but I was not feeling the rod load too well, mainly due to my inexperience I hope. After about 20 to 30 minutes I went up to the next size I had available, a 660. Big jump, big difference. I could feel the rod load very easily and know that somewhere in between these two I will find the one that suits my current lack of talent. I had just finished the head changeover I see a familiar smiling face on the bank behind me. Welcome Matthew, great to see you. Now I'm on the water with both Ben (who, just before Matthew arrived, had a distinctive grab, drag was going out and despite the roaring river I could hear it...taunting me) and Matthew. Ben now has had a tug, a bit of line taken and then felt the shakes before the hook was spit (or broken off, I can't recall...let's call it a lousy knot ). Now we are all three fishing, I'm low holeing them both (they know what they are doing and I suck) and we have perfect fishing conditions. It is raining, has been all morning, but now it really is raining and the very hard downpour lasted a full hour and it got colder. Finally the rain subsided, stopped and the thick cloud cover lifted. We were treated to a view of fresh snow down the foothills to within 300-500' of where we stand. Now through a few runs and a bit chilled we decide to head to another place, this one of Matthew's choosing. Matthew led us down a muddy slog trail for about a half hour. The benefit of hiking down a trail along a river for a half hour is that few will go that long to get to the water. We found his choice to be to our liking, it just looked fishy and I felt that someone (ME of course) was gonna get lucky here. This time I'm armed with my new switch. I had been carrying it in my backpack that perfectly carries two rods. The first line that I tried on it is one size higher than Leland recommended, but I'm a brute with no feel, so I thought this would be a great starting place. The first cast sailed like I knew what I was doing and I think that Matthew even cracked a smile (maybe he was laughing, I could not hear as the river was roaring). Nothing I could toss would compare to the smooth and tight loops being tossed regularly by both Ben and Matthew and just being around them allowed me to both fish with friends and watch their hand, rod and line movements. I think that this is a good thing for my learning process and I think that my casting improved slightly through this observation and practice. I believe that I had a quick tug at this spot, and as I turned to Ben to let him know I heard his drag going out again. Rod bent, big Ben grin and for a while everything just stood still. He thought for a while he was snagged on the bottom. Finally he applied enough pressure to budge this one. A chum he got to see a couple of times, then fish off. We joked a bit about leaders and tippet that are older than they should be, lighter than the anticipated quarry and filled with wind knots. And with that our time on the river was up. Ben had things that he put off in order to fish. Matthew had something important to do as well. I was also expecting to be home to greet my first grader when she got off the bus. Slogged back to the car, handshakes and smiles to Matthew and away we went. Ben dropped me of perfectly in time to catch the right boat back, I was home in time to drape out my wet gear before heading to the bus stop, so for a change I've not done something to get myself in the dog house. Today was a Fantastic Fishing Friday. Thank you Ben and Matthew. Thank you for sharing some of your favorite spots on a beautiful river in a wonderful drainage. I look forward to the next opportunity to fish with you both.