Friday, May 28, 2010
Try Something New Day
One of the nice things about fishing a particular waterway regularly is that, on any given day, there’s typically no real pressure to catch anything. And without that pressure, every now and then you can take a “day off” and try something new – a new fly, a new technique, a new section of water. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter because you’ll be back soon. But if it does work, well, you’ve just expanded your fishing options.
This morning, I mixed it up by:
a) Pulling out a big, leggy popper that’s been sitting in my fly box since last fall when I bought it with smallmouth bass in mind
b) Arriving on the stream before daybreak, trying to get as much time in before a forecasted storm front arrived
c) Spending a good bit of time away from my cozy braids, fishing instead the main channel, looking for “pocket water”, almost as if I were trout fishing
To make a long story short, something I don’t do very often so enjoy it while you can, the morning was terrific, starting with the fine fish pictured above and ending with a pleasant, sunny hike home. And rather than tell you, today I’ll just show you.
The morning wasn’t all beauty and joy, though. While the 20+ inch bruiser pictured at the top of the post was a fine fish, it wasn’t the biggest I hooked today. That distinction went to another bass that smashed the popper just below a rock escarpment and headed downstream, passing close enough to give me a tantalizing peek at his broad, strong side.
Putting him quickly on the reel, I chose not to lean on him hard, but, instead, stood mesmerized as the fish steadily stripped line from the complaining Battenkill. Sadly, as my backing began to peek from between the few remaining turns of fly line, the beast came unbuttoned and continued down the river, unencumbered, leaving me with ninety feet of slack line to be retrieved and some serious questions about my tactics.
But questioning my tactics is not all that unusual on “try something new” day - or most any other day, for that matter.