Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Allergy Relief

I really didn’t plan to go fishing. Well, I did, but something out there in the natural world has recently added it’s pollen to the spring-time allergy inducing haze and it’s been kicking my butt.

I was pretty miserable last night before bed and then slept terribly, awaking at 2:30am and tossing and turning on the couch until dawn so as not to bother Mary. I figured staying inside as much as possible for a day or two while the offending pollination passed would be a smart thing. But dawn arrived, and I have never been accused of being particularly smart, so, since I was up early……

I sneezed all the way to the river and the gnats loved my watery eyes. It was cool, in the mid 50s, so I wore my waders, figuring I didn’t need to add a cold to my miseries, which was sort of a bummer because I had been happy to be wet wading again. As I expected, some recent scattered showers had the river a little high and fairly muddy, so the conditions were far from ideal.

So what was I doing out here? Feeling lousy. Crap conditions. I must be crazy. Right? Well, it didn't take long to relize why.

To make a long story short, something I don’t do too often, I quickly forgot all the misery because the bass were ON. In all of the there’s often one there spots along my favorite half-mile stretch, I found fish. What I thought were poor, murky conditions actually appeared to make the bass bold as a couple struck the fly within 10 feet of me, one literally splashed me as it hit the topwater gully fish I was using. And despite the chill in the air, the water was a pleasent 72 degrees; perfect for largemouths.

And today, the big bass came out to play. A normal day on the Haw yields a handful of 8-12 inch largemouths with the occasional 14-16 incher tossed in for special excitement. Today, nothing fell under 12 inches and the beast of the day was a 20 inch chunk of bass, pictured at the top of this post, that taxed my 6wt and tested my drag. He went where he wanted and all I could do was try to keep him from getting under submerged trees or hiding in the rocks, which I did with only limited success. Luckily, the hookset was good and I just had to wait him out, all the while hoping my knots held. He only came to hand when he tired of dragging me about and he took some reviving before swimming away.

The morning ended with eight good bass and a couple of over ambitious bluegill landed, several good fish long line released, and a complete recovery from my pollen induced stupor. I came home feeling amazingly better.

Sure beats Benedryl.

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