Springtime Smallmouth

Indeed…spring has finally sprung! If you are like me it couldn’t have happened soon enough. The Easter weekend was frankly about as amazing from a weather standpoint as anyone could ask for; I certainly hope you were able to get outside and just move around, I certainly did!

Before I go any further let me give you a quick update that after 13 years and 242K miles me and my old red suburban have parted ways. I must say that ‘breakin up’ was hard to do; I had raised two boys, shot a number or turkeys, pheasants, quail, etc….and caught a slew of fish while getting from place to place in it. Ole Red had been a good friend…but it was time to move on and that is just what I have done. Easter2014002I bought an upgrade from Ellettsville businessman Rick Belcher; so, if you see me in a new ‘burb’, a silver one…then just know that we (me and the new one) are probably headed somewhere to hunt, camp or fish. Truth is that I couldn’t have asked to deal with a better guy than Rick and I am planning on fishing a good part of Montana this summer…thus the new vehicle will travel nicely.

Knowing that Easter Sunday is mostly family time I eased onto one of my favorite local stretches of water; I snuck it in between watching Jonas play some golf and driving him north of Indy for basketball Saturday the 20th of April. To say that it was a beautiful day is a terrible understatement; honestly I could hardly concentrate for the stellar scenery that was all around me.

At one point there was a seep of about 100 feet that was tinkling into the stream from above. The photo above today is from this section and just doesn’t do the scene justice for water was traveling a hundred feet or so from above, meandering right and left as gravity pulled it downward to the clear pool waiting below as a recipient of the 56 degree water. Also within this pool were hungry smallmouth bass that had been snuggled up together for the past six months…waiting on this day to come and warm the stream temps up to the point that they could once again strap on the feed bucket; that is just what they did!

Before I left for the golf course on this morn’ I had made time to go to the tying area and create a pair of minnow recreations; both were patterned after a bluntnose minnow that swims within our creeks and rivers. One was tied on a size 6, 3X long shank and looked quite impressive even to me as its originator, so…I tied it onto 1X tippet and eased up to the head of the pool and made a twenty foot cast. I allowed the fly to sink a bit then gave a couple quick, erratic strips with my left hand…once again I let the fly settle and start to swim across the creek, being carried by the clear current, when I felt a tug, I strip set with my left hand and the rest as they say…is history. The good news is that I had a feeling a good fish was there and turned on my GoPro camera just a few seconds prior. You can watch me land this nice 17 inch smallie and a couple others by clicking here. I think you will enjoy the short 5 minute clip and for sure will get to see some gorgeous southern Indiana scenery.

On this day the fishing was good but wouldn’t be the highlight; as I was walking back upstream I heard an ever familiar sound echoing down into the canyon…there before me was what appeared to be a young or juvenile Osprey working its way through the trees directly at me.Easter2014006 Immediately I knew that I wasn’t the only fisherman in this area today… the bird topped a tree directly beside me and in a matter of seconds was gone as it moved downstream at a breakneck pace. I was left standing there in the middle of the stream, 5 weight fly rod in hand, mouth ajar wondering what type of fighter aircraft had just swept over me? It happened so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance or think to reach up and quickly turn my camera on…please take my word on this one…it was a spectacular sight and one that I won’t soon forget.

Spring sure has roared in and swept away most of those bitter memories of a long-drawn out winter. Don’t wait any longer…get your camera, walking stick, fishing gear, shotgun…heck, just get yourself, get up and get going, don’t wait any longer to Enjoy the Great Outdoors.

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