Monday, May 5, 2014
Playing the numbers game.
I should've called this blog the doubtful fisherman. Seeing as how I just got back from the river, I'm standing in my damp shorts and wolfing down a pickle. I do enjoy fly fishing very much. I never did well with terminal tackle and I don't have patience for fishing with live bait. After moving to this area, I spent a little time fishing on the Beaver Lake tailwaters. It was OK catching small to medium trout but I ran into some smallmouth bass closer to home and fell in love with them. That, and those giant panfish that keep jumping on the line.
I never was good at catching a lot of smallmouth bass. I never really caught many large ones - I don't think I've ever caught more than 10 largemouth or smallmouth bass exceeding 2 or 3 lbs on a lake or stream. I love panfish because they keep me occupied and I can even wow my own friends with fat ones - as they still say I catch small bass.
That being tossed out there for your digestion . . . I am contemplating reality. One in which I can't really fish a large smallmouth stream - one in which a number of other people have success. I broke my new TFO fly rod when the heavily weighted fly came back on a wicked, tight cast under some timber and branches. The rod just bent over. I brushed it off. My fault. Not big deal, I can maybe get a replacement for that rod section. I went home, grabbed another new rod and brushed myself off. I headed to the main stream this time.
I don't like this river but there are lots of good sized smallmouth bass. I don't like wading it due to gravel and large limestone?? covered in slick stuff. Lots of floaters too. More than a few already floated past. I rarely catch fish on this part of the watershed but other catch "toads". The only bass came hours later on a purple Crazy Dad. She centered up on it as I drifted it towards her and she took it - but I couldn't tell. It had stopped drifting and I jiggled it a few times. She then moved to the nest. I pulled up and she raised up. Then she shook and the fly flew out of the water - only about 2 feet deep here. I had no slack on the line. She was huge and beautiful.
I fish some pretty primo smallmouth waters. I play the numbers game. I go out weekly or more in the hopes of catching at least one. And I always did - until my secret spot filled in with gravel and another became private property. I tossed Double Deceivers, crawdads, Clousers, Shuckers, etc. but they are on their beds and I'm wondering if the action folks have seen it pre-spawn. Sometimes, I can catch 20 smallmouth with most being small. And that's OK. But I wonder if I only catch smallmouth bass because of luck and timing. Sometimes, I work pretty dang hard to pull a bass out of a hole - even if I don't see one but have inkling.
Let me ask you guys these questions. What defines us as fly fishers? How can a fisherman tell when "enough is enough"?
I always get outfished - especially trout and especially if I go out with more than one person. I look like a goof talking up my game and showing photos - only to crash and burn such as at a bass tournament I joined last summer. I caught several bass the night before and none the day it mattered. I see instagram photos of people catching bass after bass and nice ones too. And yet, it seems that I relegated to be the "small-stream"/skinny water guy.
I crave large smallmouth bass but can't seem to put myself on them. Folks don't really want to meet up either. I do as they do - cast as they cast and am stuck wondering . . . how the heck can I take my own kids fishing when I can't represent as a father should? I remember going out with my father for smallmouth and white bass and trout. Only 2 of those trips ever yielded fish for me. I take my kids out and they get bored after not catching anything - even then, it's all small stuff. The kids want to camp and fish and I am afraid to even show them how to fly fish. I can talk game to them too but can still barely produce with them around.
Anyways, wah wah wah. Everything in life has come the hard way. . . . why this, lol. Probably why Bill doesn't leave comments anymore, he he.