Largemouth Bass Lineup

Largemouth Bass Lineup

Saturday, November 20, 2010


When I first started fly fishing, I discovered a small native brookie stream about 35-40 minutes from my house.  I heard about this stream from the local fly shop owner.  He shared his knowledge with me and explained to me actually where to go.  I was so happy and surprised that he would have done that.  I was always taught to keep those "secret" fishing spots all to yourself and to never ever share least of all with another fisherman.

Anyways, I started going to this stream.  At first I didn't catch many fish.  The stream is very small, maybe eight feet across at its widest point, and very shallow with a "deep" hole being one of say 1-2 feet deep.  What this stream does have though is a naturally reproducing brookie population.  Most fish are between say 5 and 7 inches with a "lunker" being 9-10 inches.   I started fishing with Humpies and Wulffs of all shapes and sizes.  I quickly learned a few things about the stream.  First, trees and ground cover can be murder on flies.  I have no idea just how many flies I lost those first 2 or 3 dozen outings.  This type of fly fishing required pin point fly presentation with a keen eye kept on one's surroundings and back cast.  Second, the brookies are incredibly skittish fish.  A mere cough, sigh or break of a tree branch and they were gone from the pool.  Lord help you if you slipped on a rock and splashed some water round.  Third, when caught the brookies put up a good fight and are one hell of a beautiful fish.

I was soon hooked on brookie fishing and spent most of my fly fishing time pursuing them.  I got pretty good at catching them.  Looking at my fly fishing log I went from catching 3 or 4 of them to catching 17-20 pf them.  Those were good times.  That was 15 years ago.  Fast forward to the present.  Yesterday a friend of mine and I hit the brookie stream.  This was the first time I have been there this year.  The temps around here were mid 50's yesterday but all week they were in the mid 60's.  I violated the whole "secret" fishing spot thing and took a friend of mine with me.  He is the one I have been helping to learn how to fly fish and tie this past year. 

We spent about 2 hours trying to catch the brookies.  I managed to land two and I lost 5 or so.  My friend wasn't so lucky.  He hooked one fish twice and lost it both times and hooked another fish four times and lost it each time.  In the end, I hope he had a good time.  There is something special about this stream.  Over time and as his skills improve, I hope he comes to love it as I do.  I will say though that watching him reminded me a lot of me when I first started.

 I also noticed that my skills in this type of fly fishing have deteriorated over time.  I had some trouble casting and hooked a few trees myself.  I also managed to spook quite a few fish before I even got near them.  The last five or so years I have fished for smallies and panfish almost exclusively.  Occasionally I would hit a trout stream for something different.  Catching those brookies stirred something in me and I can't wait to go again.  As always, it's not about how many fish we catch but more about the journey both getting there and during the trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment