Took All Day to Figure 'Em Out, but When I Did....
by, 09-05-2012 at 12:56 AM (644 Views)
I headed out to a favorite honey hole of mine this morning. The constant, low-grade drizzle started as a non-issue, but soon became a genuine annoyance, and eventually led to me screaming profanities at the clouds in a fit of impotent rage. I must admit here that my irritation increased in direct proportion to the level of skunking I was receiving. I could see fish—good fish at that—in most of the lies I expected fish to be in. I wasn't spooking the fish (at least, I don't think I was), but I wasn't catching any either. I tried spinners, Rapalas, spoons (red and white had been just knocking them dead for me the last 2-3 weeks...but not today), crawlers, wax worms, and meal worms. I even broke out the casting bubble and threw a bead head nymph for a while. I'd say they turned up their noses at everything I threw, but that would grossly overstate the level of interest I generated among the fish.
After six hours or so of utter futility, I decided to poke around at stream side for some "local" bait. It was at this point that I learned that it is soft-shell crayfish season. I scooped up 10 or 12 crawdads and headed back to give it one last good college try. Well, apparently, "crawdads" were the answer, as the next hour produced my limit. At one point, I watched THREE fish leave their hiding places and converge on my bait simultaneously, all but butting heads as they each tried to grab it. Somehow, they all whiffed on it, but no matter, yet a fourth fish slashed in to snatch it up. He then got right into the current and led me on a merry chase about 150-200 yards down the creek. I was fishing with my Microspin, and didn't really have the wherewithal to do more than occasionally slow him down for the first 5 or 6 minutes. In the end, it took about 10-12 minutes to bring him to the net, but it was well worth it, as he turned out to be 23" and 5 lbs. right on the dot. I've caught bigger trout, but none in small water or on tackle this light, and none that have given anything even close to that good of an account of themselves. The big one actually completed the limit (the whole stringer went 25 lbs 9 oz), which was a good thing, because at that point, my nerves and my equipment were pretty much shot. My reel was back to making really distressed sounds by the time I brought the hawg to the net. I should probably take it apart this week and see if it's even salvageable.