Fun on Fort Loudon
I pushed away from my dock in the canoe around 7:30pm. There is a storm water drain on the north edge of my property, and there are usually some nice Bluegills that hang around there. I picked up a few, but they were small (6”-8”). I moved along the south shore in the shade of the trees and then into the back of the cove, waiting for the sun to go down on my neighbor’s new sea wall. He installed about 400’ of block wall with sloped rocks in front to break the surge. It has been producing some great fishing, and I always target it after the sun goes down.
In addition to numerous Bluegills, I’d been picking up a bass or two along the wall over the past few weeks. The action has been quite reliable ever since I designed and tied a leggy, yellow foam popper. The popper consists of green Estaz on a long wired Aberdeen hook, with two layers of yellow sheet foam tied on top in three segments. Long, thin chartreuse legs are tied on each side at the center. The popper floats well and has plenty of animation with the slightest movement. The yellow is easy to see in the fading twilight, which helps these old eyes.
I was catching small Bluegills along the wall, when what appeared to be a larger Bluegill took the popper. I brought it toward the boat with little pressure from my 5-wt Orvis Silver Label. Suddenly, it noticed the boat and began to exert resistance. The resistance became a fight and I knew it wasn’t a Bluegill. I quickly put the fish on the reel to take advantage of the Lamson drag system, which turned out to be a good idea. He went several rounds in and out against the drag. When I finally got a look at it, I realized it was a fine Largemouth Bass. It wasn’t until I lipped him that I discovered it was one of the best LMB I had ever caught on a fly rod. I didn’t have a scale, but it measured an easy 18”-19”. Now that can get a fellow interested in seriously targeting Bass.