Today I returned to the lake in hopes of improving on the first day of Week of Mouse, perhaps with some big bass and pickerel. Right off the bat I messed up a shot at a big smallmouth. In fact, though I had quite a few bronze backs blow up on my fly, I still can't seem to get mouse to stick in one's mouth. Regardless of a rough start and no smallmouth, today ended up being epic.
|See if you can see the pickerel|
I did an initial sweep of the shoreline and various ponds and canals while the sun was still above the trees, then started from the beginning when it dipped low and the shadows grew long. In my favorite side pond I got some action, but only on the second go. I think my second cast brought a good take. I saw the fish clearly, it came up behind the Morrish Mouse and grabbed the tail. I could have hooked it but instead of strip setting I did a long sweep, which did not have the intended effect. I missed the next take too, which as a violent slash. More than likely the fish didn't get much of the fly.
The next take was one of the coolest thing I have ever seen while fishing, a pure act of violent predatory behavior that is burned into my memory: I hit the far bank perfectly, and the fly hit the water with a load plop. Almost immediately a big pickerel was on it. It came in from the right, slammed the fly, missing it but throwing it in the air. I did not stop stripping. To me sheer astonishment I watch the fish make a wide arc, then turn and head back toward the fly from the left. It was making a ridiculous wake the entire time. I have never seen a fish put itself in front of it's prey like that. It was just amazing. Even more amazing, I missed the take, put it back in the same spot, and everything went perfectly. The fish went airborne for the fly, I strip set, and the fish tore the fly to shreds.
I was not yet done though. I needed to change to a different pattern, but it was taken just as eagerly. Once again I missed the first take but was given a second chance. This one was just an inch shorter than the first. A third fish of similar size took the tail off my fly and the action died down. I do love a good pickerel, and this had to be as fun as they get.
I decided to finish off the evening on a strange note. Anyone else ever caught a yellow perch on a mouse?
So that concludes the first three days of Week of Mouse. I have four more days to fish mice in as many different ways as is possible.