Wednesday, June 16, 2010


After a lazy first day of summer vacation, I decided to spend my second day small stream fishing for some wild trout. I set my alarm for 4:30 in the morning but it being summer and all, I didn't get out of bed until 10:30. It took another few hours before I mustered up some strength to get my gear in the truck and push the pedal down to the floor. I had in mind several streams for my day of fishing but they were all extremely low. We need rain badly and I did not want to put any extra stress on the beautiful trout that reside in them. I decided to fish a small stream that is fed by an alternative source so I didn't have to worry about water levels. I unpacked my 702-2 St. Croix and hit the stream intent on some hot surface action.

The only action I received was from the resident sunfish population. I hooked and landed probably three dozen sunfish from two to six inches before one little guy changed the days plans. I hooked a small sunfish in a very deep hole and a huge bronzeback exploded upon the unlucky guy and simultaneously scared me half to death. Needless to say, I clipped off my dry dropper rig and opened my fly box for a streamer. I reluctantly put two ice man uv minnows in my fly box before I left the car just in case something like this would happen. It was time to probe the depths for some smallmouth, with a small streamer, and a rod designed for fish under ten inches.

The smallmouth were still in the stream from their spawning runs and came from a lake a few hundred yards downstream. I started working my way to the lake flailing wildly trying to toss a streamer and a tungsten cone with a small rod. I started to catch a few but none of them approached the size of the one that appeared out of nowhere to attack a two inch sunfish. The closer I got to the lake, the more I saw, and the more I lost. It was tough getting them to take in such gin clear water. When they did take, I had a hard time setting the hook with a super full flex rod. It was interesting to say the least.

Near the end of the stream, it began to widen and get slower and deeper as it gradually gave way to becoming more and more like a lake. This area was full of downed trees, muddy bottoms, and vegetation. I worked my way out onto a huge fallen tree careful not to slip and impale myself on a broken branch. My first cast ended up wrapped around a branch and I lost one of my minnows. As I was tying on my last one, mother pig came out of nowhere meandering her way under the downed tree I was perched upon. My first cast with new minnow landed about ten feet off from where she entered the debris and it slowly began descending to the bottom. She emerged and did not come to a stop until she inhaled the rusty ice man.

My drag already set to the maximum, I clamped down the fly line to the cork and lifted up as hard as I could. The hook set in and the pig ascended from the depths and exploded on the surface of the water before attempting to make a run to the nearest log. The line clamped down, my rod was literally in half and I began worrying for my two weights life. Twice the smallie was able to pull line out from under my clamped hand and from my small stream reel with the drag up all the way. When I finally got her in close I found out why she was fighting so hard. A snapping turtle was following her every move. As if I didn't have enough to worry about perched on a balance beam covered in algae atop water ten feet deep. When I finally lipped her, the snapping turtle was about to munch down on her tail. I lifted her out of the water and walked down the log before placing her back into the water. The snapping turtle meandered over again and I took a stick and whacked him on his shell. He barely moved so I went for a little swim to a less stressful area.

I don't usually target smallmouth bass but after that duel with my first pig, I will definitely be fishing for them again sometime soon.

1 comment:

Fishing Fury said...

Great report, I still haven't been able to get a smallie on the fly, maybe this weekend!