Saturday, August 20, 2016
Small Stream Warm Water Fish
After I quit on my spring creek the other day I fished like a madman. I was searching low and high for brookies in a stream where I have caught them sporadically. The flow was healthy but the water temperatures were on the warm side, and even when I found a nice cold section I didn't find brookies. That doesn't mean I didn't hook fish, they were just the "wrong" kinds: largemouth, rock bass, redbreast sunfish, bluegills, fallfish, creek chubs... eventually I gave up on the salmonids and instead of half assed quick run and gun style fishing I slowed down and targeted specific fish. Though it was a small stream and the fish were sized to match I ended up getting a lot more out of the day than I expected.
I chose my last hole and decided that instead of just fishing it through I would sit on a huge midstream rock and wait and watch. I didn't change from the Hornberg I had on, I knew I wouldn't need to. The first fish I caught in that little section, just before I climbed up on the rock, was a nice largemouth. For this creek it was a big bass. But as I relaxed on the rock a bigger one would soon reveal itself.
Just lounging on that rock and making precise, calculated casts was a great experience. I took my time, enjoyed the wildflowers, and admired the fish instead of looking at them only through the camera lens. I found myself smiling to myself while taking in every detail of a small rock bass.
I had caught and released a few small bass when I spotted a larger one entering the pool. Instead of targeting that fish I took a break, knowing it had already seen my fly and would put the other smaller fish on alert. After my five minute rest I cast the Hornberg into the middle of the pool and let it flutter down. When I saw it disappear abruptly I set the hook. I knew immediately which fish I had on. After a very spirited battle I landed the king of the pool.
An hour later I knew I had to leave, so I gently slid off the rock and waded up to my exit point, still smiling about what a great afternoon it had been.