This year has just been tough, I don’t know how many trips I have had to cancel or postpone this year. Over 8” of rain in a month has my local river and creeks running high, fast and muddy. The striper run is in full swing but the dam is generating at 14000 CFS and often has flood gates open to go with it. I don’t like being in that flow in a powerboat much less a kayak! Just this week I had to cancel a river trip with my Jackson teammates and it really sunk my spirits. I had developed a full blown case of “optical rectumitus”. (Where your eyeball gets wrapped around your butthole and gives you a crappy outlook on life.)
I sat down yesterday and opened an Alabama magazine that had an article about a lake not too far from me that I haven’t fished in 10 or 12 years. Last I heard it had closed and was slated for repair but I never heard the outcome. This article talked about the new structure placement and restocking and made it look like new life had been breathed into the place.
I decided to head out and give it a try since the river was in such bad shape. As soon as I pulled up I saw what had been so scarce this spring, clear water. I loaded all my gear in my Jackson Big Rig and headed to a protected cove across the lake. I was gunning for bass but as soon as I hit the cove I saw the bank ringed with nice size bream and shellcracker. I turned right around, paddled back across to the truck and had a gear intervention. I swapped out the big guns and grabbed my Redington Pursuit 6wt and my fly box with a few small poppers. I saw a bass or two cruising around the grass so I left my Manley Gold Series spinning rod rigged with a weightless wacky style worm in the kayak.
As soon as I reached the cove again I picked up the fly rod and dropped the popper lightly beside a floating weed patch. The bug had barely settled when a bluegill mashed it and put a good bow in the rod. This scene repeated itself over and over for the next several hours and was just what the doctor ordered for my bad case of optical rectumitus. I put the fly rod down for a spell and skipped the trick worm under the overhanging branches and it was quickly eaten by a small bass. Fishing a trick worm is one of my favorite ways to catch bass and these critters were more than willing to play. There was no guessing on the hits either, these were the best kind, right on the surface where you get to witness all the action.
The fish weren’t big but they really didn’t have to be to put a smile on my face. I lost track of how many bream and bass came to hand and somewhere in the midst I lost track of whatever was bothering me. It is like a dose of good medicine when you finally get back on the water. One good trip can erase the bad feelings of multiple canceled adventures. This trip taught me a good lesson though, when “ordinary” is out of order, look outside of your box; you may find a spot you forgot about!