September 30, 2012
Don't Give In
There have been times, when I get that feeling of giving up when fishing. When I'm not hooking into fish, I'll start ringing off the excuses - low or high water, the time of the season, my eggs, my lack of patience and so on. But at times, I get that nagging feeling, if I leave I might miss out something great. In the past, I've been burned when I'm speed fishing. Speed fishing is when I set a certain amount of time on one spot. Once I've reached that allotted time, I go to the next spot. I do this when my time is limited. It isn't the most effective way to fish as some times it pays in huge dividends and other times I struck out.
Today it was like that when I fished the lower Grand. The day before the other guys did well on the lower Rock. I passed up the opportunity to get in some much needed sleep as I was worked a very long week. Today, I would be fishing solo and I wonder how the Grand had been fishing. I didn't hear much chatter and nobody I knew had fished it yet. I arrived at first light and to my surprise, I was the first person there. When I reached the river, it was running low but the water was stained. The river looked the same when I lasted fished it back in July for catfish. I crossed over and started fishing the head of the pool. The flow was lethargic and the banks reeked of something rotten. The bottom was very silty as clouds of it swirled up as I walked. The river definitely needs a good thorough blowout. I had the float adjusted to about 3' and I watched struggled as I knew it was dragging bottom. I made some adjustments and resumed fishing. I pretty well half assed it all the way down because I figured the fish would be in the deeper hole around the bend. I finally reached the hole and there was some flow albeit slow. I worked the hole and the only things interesting were 3 juvenile bald eagles chasing each other along the river and several deer watching me do a lot of nothing. Speaking of nothing, I didn't see one fish roll. In the distance, I could hear thunder off over the lake. The black clouds loomed closer and closer. I took my phone and checked the radar and it was going to miss us. This section generally holds new arrivals from the lake, but a little over an hour, I had nothing. It was time to take a leak, when I walked to the shore and when I looked down, I could see some scraps of blue spawn sac netting on the rocks. I chuckled as it was my netting I used back during the summer to tie chicken livers. Despite some of the rain we received, it never got high enough to wash it away.
The hole was a lost cause and I made my way back up. I started doubting that if there was any fish present. I looked up and there was still nobody. Maybe the locals knew something that I didn't know. I pounded away working the pool and I was getting frustrated. The only thing I could hear were bass chasing minnows. I was getting ready to throw in the towel when I was back at the head of the pool. I gave myself 15 minutes and that was it. I tossed the float out and watched it go downstream. Bored, I yawned several times and continue to watch it when it shot under suddenly. I quickly set the hook and felt the fish charge downstream. I knew this was a very large one. It peeled off line at lighting fast speed. I kept the rod high and gingerly applied pressure. I watched the water boil and I could out make out a very large fin coming out the water. Several times the fish charged back out in the middle and I started to gain the upper hand. Luckily, I was using a 3X tippet so I was able to muscle it in as fast as I could. Being mindful that the water temperature was still at the upper threshold for these fish. It turned out to be a massive hen, thick and fresh - a titan. She already sported a hefty gut. Her tail was so thick, I could barely get my hand around it. I whipped out my phone and took a couple of quick pictures. I popped the hook out and quickly placed her in the water. I gently moved her back and forth and I started to feel her regain strength. Finally, she surged forward and bolted back out to the river. I figured she must of weight close to 15 pounds and if she survived to next spring, I'd bet she would tip the scales at 18 pounds.
When I was fighting her, I watched another fish roll further up. It started to make sense as the head of the pool had the fastest current. I casted out and quickly mend the line. The float started down along the seam when the float shot under and the water erupted. A small male flew out of the water and ran downstream. It was a fairly quick and intense fight as I was able to pop the hook out without beaching him. Shortly after that, I hooked into another male that aggressively hit a pink sac. After that it pretty well shut down once the sun came out.
I almost passed up that last spot to head to another one and I was glad I gave it another kick at the can, because who knows if I would caught fish at the next spot. By then it was almost noon and I watched two anglers head upstream. I drove further upstream and fished a long run that spilled into a wide pool. I worked it for about an hour and my stomach talked me into to leaving. I wasn't disappointed with my outing as it can be hit or miss and it was nice to end the month. All of the rivers are woefully low and we need at least several heavy rain falls to replenish the ground, because the ground basically soaks up any available water before it has a chance to run off. As the weather gets cooler, generally we start to see more wet weather and hopefully October turns out to be like last year - outstanding.