Thursday, August 25, 2011

River Report: Going Small

At 6 PM I got word that a meeting I was planning to attend was cancelled. It didn't take me long to get to the river. I haven't been there in a long time, and it struck me that, like all rivers, it was just as I left it and completely changed.

It was 98 degrees today, so I went small, wet-wading with vest and rod. The river was wonderfully cool.

I fished the bridge run first, at least what remains of it upstream from the flood-deposited tree, but with limited time I didn't explore downstream. That will be fun on some future trip. I'm curious how the changes in flow may have changed the bottom structure.

I waded across to the island and followed a deer trail where, logically, I jumped a couple of deer. They took the most direct route away from me. They wet-waded, too.

I fished the glide feeling a little like someone coming back to a house they used to live in. You know it's the same place, but the memories that rise up emphasize how much time has passed. For one thing, it was now a warm summer evening, and I was wet-wading the same stretch that chilled me to the bone in the dead of last winter.

There were no Steelies today; it was all about the Smallies. I caught a few little fish, and had lots of bumps and hookups that came undone. They all hit the fly with abandon, as evidenced by this foul-hooked fish.

The best hit of the evening came when a very nice Smallmouth engulfed the fly as soon as it hit the water. I had forgotten how hard big Smallmouth fight. I had my hands full for a few minutes until the hook finally pulled out. I wish I could have shown you a photo. I guess, based on what I saw and felt, that it might have gone three pounds. I know; easy for me to say.

The Caddis started popping at dusk, so I got my wish to see the river in the hatch. I don't know if they swarmed into town like they did last night, but they were thick on the water, and they certainly swarmed me. The hatch was still going strong at dark when I finally climbed the bank and headed for home.

I had continued to swing the bugger on the wade back downstream but got no more hits. Maybe, if I had had my light, I would have tied on a Caddis pattern, just to see. But that will have to wait until the next time.

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