Fishing was great to good all week, though some streams seemed to be on a early AM/late PM bite for good action and bigger smallmouth bass. Drats. Disappointed some. Tough for the fly guys as big river caverns were absolutely silent, flow was as low as I have seen it CFS 2.5-59 depending on gauge. Long casts succeeded. Short casters had better be ninja masters.
I love smallmouth for their spookiness. It always adds a wildcard into the mix. I love the mass of factors that leads to answers and success. This campout had a good variety of anglers, fly fishermen, gear chuckers, novices, and really good fishermen. It was enlightening because it changed my perception of how far people fish. I found myself wanting to tell people where to go fish and what to throw, then realizing they had physical challenges that would make it difficult. The low water made floats really hard.
I got started EARLY Friday morning without my wade partner, Matt. Poor guy had gashed his head open to the tune of 10 staples and 5 hours of waiting! Matt had the stones to fish anyway later on. Props dished.
The alarm was set. With no Matt, the drive was made. Got to my water too early. Had to headlamp an AM buzzbait bite.
I hit 6/7 bites in one large pool. All above 12" to 17". Promising. Light came out. The bite either died or I hit poor water.
|17.25" Smallmouth Bass (Wolka Buzz)|
I was walking a Sammy when HELL UNLEASHED. A massive bass exploded violently on the surface, echoing thunder on the cavern cliffs. I tightened pressure. The fish was in the air quick. 2 or 3 feet up. Splashing hard, then running for a laydown. "No, you don't!" Cranked hard and away from the danger. The fish did turn, then it burned downstream towards me. I was in belly deep water with a large treble hooked fish swimming towards me. I did what I usually do to avoid the trebles. Beached it on the cliff side in an inch or so water. Truly a fat creek fish. Pics were mostly over my head.
|19.5" Smallmouth Bass Sammy (100)|
Next 2 casts produced more explosive action. A nice 16" bass and a 13" bronze
who exploded out of the wood piles. A 17" fell at the next pool above:
|17.5" smallmouth bass LC wakecrank|
Ended with 29 SMB (19.5", 3 17"+,16", 3-15") fishing from 6:30 to 10:30.
|Frog Snatched 4" tube out of overhanging tree limb|
On the walk back we came up roadside and spied down on smallies along rip rap. I site fished 4 on a tube it. was really fun to watch them move and react (or not).
BT 35 SMB (16") MB 14 SMB (18", 16.25")
Late and early up from campground Saturday night Sunday dawn. I slammed some 8 explosive fish from 15-17.25" on a black "Archer Bee" Sammy 100.
|17" SMB on Sammy 100|