Day 6 of 20 Days in September. Paint Creek, WV. I've driven along this stretch of water a hundred times over the past couple of decades, cruising along I-77 to/from Chicago and Indiana. Daydreamed about it at 70mph. The 20 Day challenge finally made me stop. Having no clue what might be in it (if anything) I went with my if-something's-there-it'll-eat-this pattern, a #8 olive woolly bugger with red gill wraps, and, as the 18-wheelers whizzed by overhead, picked up a red-eyed bass on my third swing. Mission accomplished.
I feared that this week would be my real challenge, traveling north for a family visit and Mary's high school reunion. Packed my Orvis Safe Passage Carry It All with a 4, a 6, and a 7wt and hoped for the best. As it turned out, I need not have worried. I managed to sneak in some water on five of the six days we were on the road, including a couple of unique places.
Day 9 of 20 Days in September. Can't let non-fishing travel get in the way of a good challenge. Borrowed a bike and cruised the Lake Michigan waterfront in search of feeding carp, freshwater drum, and smallies. The Windy City skyline is quite the fly fishing backdrop, don't you think? My thanks to Jon at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters for the great intel.
Day 8 of 20 Days in September. Four days, four states. NC, WV, IL, IN. Checked in on sister-in-law Margie's backyard pond and found that 2014's stocking has been wildly successful. A quick circuit picked up four 14-18 inch bucketmouths who had never seen a fly before. Fun stuff!
Day 9 of 20 Days in September. In between t-showers, reunion social commitments, and the Manchester Derby, I introduced a few more of Margie's fish to the ways of the popper. I could get used to having a bass pond ten steps out the back door.
Day 10 of 20 Days in September. Last day on the backyard bass pond. Halfway there.
So I came home with ten outings under my belt. Much better positioned than I'd imagined. Maybe I could do this!
Mother Nature, however, decided she'd not make it easy...