Where everything you do during your time fishing is wrong? Well I have and I know now that Greg has. We tried to do some river fishing for smallies yesterday. You will notice that I said tried. First, before I go into the debacle that was Greg's fishing adventure, let me again say how crazy the weather is here in Maryland. It was overcast, windy and in the mid 70s yesterday. We are almost at the end of June and we are still in the 70s. Now I am not complaining mind you as the 70s are pretty nice. My issue with the whole temp thing is the constant up and down. I am tired of the 105 with the heat index one day and the low 70s the next. The bigger issue is of course what it is doing to the fish. They aren't fairing well with the constant temp changes either. Case in point was yesterday.
We hit the river around 1:30. I took Greg and his son to the run where I have been catching the smallies the past few outings and.....we caught nothing. Not a darn fish. They just didn't want to bite. I was throwing a Clouser and Greg was attempting to use a gurgler. I say attempting only because Greg was struggling with his casting as well as playing fishing coach with his son. It was a continuous battle of how to cast, where not to cast, how to unsnag the lure from a rock, his person, and the trees as well as where not to walk after he fell in. Needless to say Greg was having a rough time just attempting to fish, never mind the fact that he was struggling a little with his casting... and don't forget that the fish weren't biting.
We moved further down and finally we located the fish. They were in a much slower run. I switched to a purple Road Kill Nymph that seemed to work well. I would strip it fast and then slow/stop which would seem to result in a strike from a fish. As we worked our way down the run, I managed to land 17 fish of which 2 were smallies, 2 were red eyed rock bass, 2 were warmouth and 11 were long eared sunfish. Greg on the other hand struggled... yet again. He had a swing and a miss 6 times on 6 fish. The last one did him in. I heard Greg call me so I turned around. He held up his rod and said "I am done". Apparently in an effort to catch a fish he set the hook, lost the fish, and then tried to dodge the fly coming right at him. At some point his rod tip snapped off and he lost about 3 inches of his rod. Some days it just pays to call it quits and go home. Not us, though! We went back to my house where I loaned Greg my spare 5wt and moved on to a pond I know about.
Unfortunately, the issues Greg was having continued. He did, however, manage to land a few small bluegill but I am not really sure they made up for all the issues he seemed to be having. The fish also weren't helping as yet again they weren't biting here either. Maybe I should say that they weren't biting well as I managed to land 14 bluegill over the course of 3 hours. That is tough fishing. We could see that they were spawning and really wanted nothing to do with whatever we threw at them. We could also see a lot of nice sized largemouth who couldn't give a rat's ass about what we threw at them. In the end, I used the Fish Foolin' Frog and the Fire Tiger popper plus the Monocacy Bumble Bee to land the gills. It was a long, tough day of fishing at every location.
Sometimes we as fly fishermen and women forget that the fishing itself is the goal and the catching of fish is just a bonus. It is nice to be out in nature watching it, being a part of it regardless of what we catch. Of course, this could just be me talking since I managed to catch fish yesterday... Your thoughts, Greg?