Well, I managed to have four and a half days off work over the holiday weekend and only get in a barely noticeable amount of fishing. I suppose a little fishing is better than none, but my hunger for a big (and successful) fishing trip is gnawing at my gut. This not catching much thing is growing old.
On Thursday Insane, his brother Justin, Jason Kelley, and I went fishing for a few hours before dark on the Flint River. On my second cast I had a smallmouth nearly kill itself trying to eat my popper, and somehow I still managed to miss him. That was it for me. Not another bite from anything large enough to eat a bass popper. Insane and Justin fished a feeder stream while Jason and I fished in opposite directions on the Flint, Jason going up and me down.
After a couple hours of fruitless casting and fighting the long strands of bright green slime-like weeds that rejoiced in wrapping around my ankles, I headed back to see how Jason was faring. I arrived to find him working a big flat pool full of rising fish, none of which he was fooling. I sat on a log and watched. We decided that a size 8 Adams would probably have done the trick, but we had only brought the typical gaudy warmwater flies. I got up with my big bass popper to give it a try. After only a handful of casts, I decided it was pointless and began practicing distance casting, succeeding only in scaring the remaining fish into the next state (it’s funny what you’ll resort to when the fish aren’t biting – don’t think Jason was amused). I simply cannot get as much distance as I’d like with a big bass popper. They just catch so much wind and seem to die mid-way through a long cast. Actually I can work out a decent bit of line and shoot some distance, but I can’t hold much line in the air. A few times I let the popper hit the water surface on a double hauled false cast, and from the sound of it, I hauled the thing straight to the river bottom. Sounded like someone dragging an anchor behind a motor boat. I finally gave up, cursed a few last times at my casting arm, vowed to practice on the lawn, and trudged back to meet Jason at the truck.
Insane and Justin fared a little better on the feeder stream, but not by much. The fish just weren’t cooperative. And I’m getting tired of it. The way I figure it, as much time and money as I’ve put into fishing, the fish owe me! Then again, I’m a believer in a sort of fishing justice, so I think maybe I’m building up to one of those legendary trips, the ones where the fishing is so unbelievably good that it makes all the pain worth it. On the other hand, I could still be paying back taxes accumulated during last year’s incredible Yellowstone trip. I sure hope not…
I also fished for awhile in a farm pond at Jacqulyn’s family reunion on the Fourth. I caught six or seven scrawny bass and a couple fat bluegills. The one thing making the event worth mentioning is that no one fishing conventional tackle caught anything. The water was clear and shallow and the sun bright. I think fly fishing really comes into it’s own in a situation like that. Sam’s One Bug was the weapon of choice. The preferred retrieve was the nonexistent one. I just cast it and let it sit, sometimes for quite awhile.
Well, it’s back to work today, and it promises to be a busy and emphatically un-fun week. I hope yours proves otherwise.