Smallies, Stipers and the Carnival
I met a young man on the Drake recently that lived in my area and wanted to meet up to go fish. He just had a little girl and can really only fish nights. We met up for a few minutes and we discussed casting technique, flies and why I liked to fish for trout most of the time verses warm water fishing. He is a new fly fisherman and we were discussing local spots. One place he mentioned I had been wanting to try out but it is extremely pressured. I've never driven by it without seeing at least a few fishermen around. However, I had never seen anyone fly fishing. I arrived early in the morning and wasn't off to a very good start. I was hoping to get into some bass, stripers if possible. My rod was a bit light (way too light) for stripers but it's all I have so I went for it. I caught a few long ears and one little crappie and decided to see if I could fool a smallie or stiper that may be lurking near some vegetation. As I moved into the area, sure enough, a striper around two feet just laying next to some grass near a pool that is fed by some nice riffle water. In my excitement, I skip taking the pic and start stripping line out to make my cast. My first mistake was not kneeling to make the cast. These fish are heavily pressured, as I have mentioned, and very educated. My second mistake was false casting in the area the fish was looking. Two false casts into it and the fish looks up, sees my line, turns around and goes into the vegetation...****. What was I thinking? I move up above the mill and decide to hit an area that the water is funnled into where the old rock wall dam had been busted up on one side. My first cast was across stream and into some riffle water...BAM! A nice little smallie takes my fly. The fight was on. Using my 6 weight it took a bit too much time to get him in, but I got him to hand. Ok, let's try this again. I make a couple of long cast and out of nowhere another smallie hammers my fly! I can't believe the day I'm having. As I'm working the fish, a striper about 5 times his size comes out from a deep hole and tries to eat my smallie. Luckily, he saw me and swam back down. No way I could land a striper that size on my six weight. This smallie gets off at my feet so I don't get a pic but it was about as nice as the one pictured below.
Not a great start:
Caught a ton of these little guys looking for the smallies:
He headed to his home:
On the way back to mine:
Well done. That smallie looks a lot like a spotted bass or even possibly a red eye. Interesting colors on that one.
Could be...God knows I can't ID fish very well. I do love catching em though. If you mean the first pic, that's a black crappie.
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