Thursday, December 29, 2011

After Xmas, but Before New Year's Twilight Zone Smallmouth Bass Float 12/29/2011

Dave and I floated a totally new cold water stretch of river today. One big pool in the middle I always wanted to investigate, but a mile or more from any bridge and hard to fish in warm months because of chest deep+ water. We gave it a float in our kayaks, hitting green water about 10:30am. Good flow, though maybe a little more in the wide pools and a little less in the narrow pools would have made locating fish easier.

I got a dink on float and fly in the first pool, not too long after put in. Getting that first bite is always a confidence builder in Winter. The wind was sheltered at first depending on river direction, but later it made presenting a bait hard and casting difficult all day. Floating between pools was quick and fun on the stream.

Soon I landed a 7"er. The wind whipped up, started to rain, then sleet. Fear not it lasted just a few minutes, then the sun was out the rest of the day.

At another pool, I plucked a 14" bass then another float dunk resulted in an unravelled knot!

We met a surprised friendly farmer who told us about his trip into the creek one December and an almost heart attack.

I picked a 16"er out of a small triangle eddy, the fish dunked my float quickly after splashdown. Gave a really nice, rod bending fight. Dave was trying, but mostly in the wrong spots "off the green" so to speak. Experience was the difference in the smaller pools.

When we finally hit the big pool it was slow going. Couple hundred yards long, 35 yards wide, slight northern bend, high banks on both sides, plentiful boulders, large laydown on that inside bend, small laydown where the pool widened slightly and created a slow water area opposite the inside bend.

Dave had a dunk and lost a fish by the laydown. I told him keep at it while I checked the deep boulder field. Too fast. Too much current. Tried the lay downs left on the inside bend to no avail and close, faster current. Dave hit the front. Was just about to give up after maybe 30 minutes blowing in the wind, when I decided to see if Dave really did have a bite. First dead drift where Dave's yak had been 15 minutes before brought a hard charging 14"er boat side.

"We've found them!" :):):):!: It quickly clicked with me why they were there, a silty drop off near slowing current, cover by the smaller outside laydown and sunlight! My float started sinking overlining, next to the laydown, near current, off the bottom, bing, bang, boom. Chunky smallmouths, 15"'s, 16"'s, an 18", 3'to 4.5' down. Hard fighting chunkers of above average girth. I had about 6 from the spot without Dave sinking once. We noticed he had braid on to my mono.


I gave him the same fly jig I had tied on with his braid- no bites. He switched to mono leader and the same jig as I. Nothing- casting to the same spots, same drifts, similar depths. I landed 3 more. :?::?::oops: Did everything I could to get him a bass, made no sense. Head scratch-er and if you can figure out what the difference is, you got me. Since this was an all new Winter adventure, this was a great find, but another fishing enigma moment! I can't believe Dave's float didn't go down a few times.


We tried a few more pools floating out, I pulled one more dink to finish with 15.

5 hours 15 smb (18", 3-16", 3-15")

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