Day By Day

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I almost didn't go

Between work and the weather this year has been crap for fishing. I've had my boat out twice all year, now it's getting cold and it's time to put the boat and the fly rods away and sit near the fire until spring. I decided since I wasn't on call today that I'd take the boat out one last time. I got up, checked the weather, checked the river flow rates and about 10:00AM I loaded up a lunch and my stuff and hooked the boat up to the truck.

I made it about 30 feet. The boat trailer had a flat. First I tied to just pump it up, but the bead was broken so I was going to have to change it. That's when I discovered my son had gone back to school with my spare jack in his trunk. sigh. So I dug out the jack from the pickup and went about the task of swapping on the spare. Because of the micky mouse rig that holds the spare to the boat trailer that takes a while so it was almost noon when I climbed back into the truck and headed up to the river.

The USGS flow gage said the river was running 2800 CFS which I interpret as low water. when I pulled up to the ramp the river was high and the wind was howling. I mean really howling. I spent a couple of minutes debating with myself and decided that I was going fishing even if I didn't catch a thing, and I had serious doubts since the water and wind were not ideal.

I drove the boat upstream about two miles and pulled into a back channel behind an island where I expected I'd catch a fish.

downstream view

upstream view

I started with an olive bugger on my 9 1/2 foot 7wt Sage. This particular bugger with it's brass conehead and rubber legs has really slayed the smallmouth in the late fall for me the past couple of years. I worked the bank in earnest and didn't get a thing. I fished the entire drift behind the island and didn't hit a thing. I was beginning to get discouraged.

I headed back downstream, the next mile or so was windy and there were whitecaps on the water so I decided to just blow past it looking for some calmer waters. Down below I fished the banks in spots that have always been good for me and didn't catch a thing. I fished a series of spots that have been good in the past with no luck. So I scooted past the ledges into the last mile back to the boat launch. This is an area that I hadn't fished much in the past, usually when we float this in the pontoons we don't cover this water.

Finally I switched to a small brown and white clouser minnow and while twitching it past a log I saw a fish come out and look at the fly, one more twitch and he took it. A beautiful fish came to net, 18-19" long a good fat 3-4 lbs. 

I managed another smaller bass and a 2lb chub when the wind kicked up as the clouds covered the sun. I decided it was time to take out fearing that a rain squall was headed my way. I snapped this last shot just before pulling the boat out.

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