Monday, August 30, 2010

Three days of camping and fishing with the INSA boys 8/27-8/29

It had been 2 weeks since I threw line. Saving up my brownie points for one cataclysmic event. The INSA 2010 Camp and Fish. Basically, camp at a site, bs, eat well, drink well, bs, fish, be merry. It was great, met some great guys and enjoyed the companies of some old friends.

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)
An hour later, fishing picked up again. It was pretty much a Rick Clunn Wake crank 1.5 or a Lucky Craft Sammy 100. The longer the cast, the better. Several huge blowups missed; a couple 15" feisty smallmouths came to hand. Numbers mounted. Another 17" bass at the bottom of a large pool.

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
A big bass waked for my Sammy. It connected in violent fashion. When I tightened up, the 7'6" rod hit a tree branch. The large smallie sawed off the 10 lbs braid on a rock and was gone lucky craft and all. So I sing a song of farewell to another. Goodbye.

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
Next day, we went far east. With great results. Fast, clear, cold water was a pleasure to fish. Great change of pace. R2C ruled early. Ripping and pausing out of shade. Mostly dinks to 12". Until Matt dropped a tube in the right rootwad!
Rootwaded 18"er

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

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