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Al Agnew

Afternoon delight

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Got back from Scotland Wednesday night, spent much of the day yesterday just getting rid of the jet lag.  Did some chores this morning while it rained.  Looked at radar after lunch and there weren't any thunderstorms popping up that might reach the area, so I told Mary I was going to go wade fishing.  I grabbed my rod and a little box with a few topwater lures, put my water tennies on, and took off for a creek I hadn't yet fished this year.

Actually I hadn't fished it since all the spring flooding last year, so I was interested to see how the flood changed it.  One of my other good creeks had been scoured out so badly that there wasn't a lot of habitat left.  These small creeks flow over bedrock in many places, and when a flood removes the cobbles and gravel that pile up to form little dams that put a bit of depth to the pools, you end up with just inches of water over the clean bedrock.

I opted to start at the upper end of fishable water, rather than the lower end of the creek like I usually do.  There are only about three miles of decent fishing water on this creek...it is pretty small.  I tied on a smallish walk the dog topwater (of course), dropped down the bank into the creek at the top of a little riffle, and made a cast into the head of the tiny pool below it.  A wake came from 8 feet away and smashed the topwater before I could begin the retrieve.  It was a 10 inch hybrid.

Second bass I caught was another hybrid, same size.  Third one was a largemouth.  Fourth was another hybrid.  Fifth, another one.  Sixth, another largemouth.  Then finally, a smallmouth.  Every pool that was over a foot deep had a couple of bass, and from then on I caught mostly smallies.  The better the pool, the bigger the smallmouth I'd catch from it.  These fish acted like they'd never seen a lure.  At one point, I was slipping down a riffle that ended in a shallow, smooth bedrock bottom pool about a foot deep, with one rock, about 2 feet in diameter, lying on the bedrock about five feet from the foot of the riffle.  I had cast farther down into the pool and was standing right at the bottom of the riffle.  I got nothing on the cast, reeled it in quickly for another cast, and a very black 14 inch smallmouth darted out from under the rock and swiped at the lure in passing.  I cast it just ten feet in front of me, and worked it up to the rock.  The smallie shot out from under the rock again, missing again, and back under the rock and out of sight it went. Another cast, and this time it smashed it and got hooked, just five feet from my rod tip.

I caught the best one of the day, a lean 16 incher, from the biggest, deepest pool.  Several others were 12-14 inches, but there were fewer good fish than usual.  Most were 10-11 inchers.  But watching them wake the surface from ten feet away and pounce upon the lure was great fun.  Ended up going about a mile and a half down the creek, catching a total of 44 bass, in 2 and a half hours.  Weather was pleasantly cool, water pleasantly cool, too.  Delightful afternoon.

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