Wednesday, July 09, 2008

There and Back Again

Took a road trip recently, in Wink182 – the overheating Saturn to which I am faithful. Instead of plodding along big roads, I pedaled straight east to Missi Zibbi, and then turned downstream. As I drove south, when faced with an intersection, I’d choose whichever road stayed closest to The River. That’s navigation.

Got hot and got the itch, so I pulled off at a given point somewhere in the SE quadrant of the state (Google it). Within 10 seconds I put my eyes on a carp, feeding slowly in some near-bank vegetation. I got rigged up then, and started walking. There were not carp everywhere, but almost. Every few minutes I found one or a few feeding. I had to get pretty close to fish to them, so I spooked quite a few. Found a group of three mowing around in very shallow water… I heron-walked on their asses and had it just perfect… but then decided to change flies. I kept my legs stone-still while tying on a Legion of Doom… but sometimes when you’re frozen like that you just start to tip… anyway, I was standing <10 feet from the fish, and I fell backwards on my ass and made quite a clamor amidst the rocks. I laughed out loud as I got up, expecting the fish to have gone and maybe even traced a middle finger in the silt… but – HA – they were still there. Pretty funny, given that just minutes before I fished to one and he spooked when I made the softest sound by bumping two rocks together beneath my foot. Anyway – I got one the LOD fly to one of them, gave it a little “jig” and watched as the fish swam on over and sucked it up. Deadly visual. Not a deadly fish… but that’s okay.

On the way out I found a dead gar. I put the head in my trunk, and it traveled with me. It’s now in my garage.



The way back was near as good. I was treated to a stunning sunset. It was very late by the time I rolled into the Root River watershed… pretty much dark. I quick pulled off the road as the last sunbeams left, and said I’d only fish if I saw anything rising. I looked for a while and I did in fact see a few rises. They were sporadic, and I couldn’t tell what they were eating, in part because it was damn near black out but also because I don’t really know shit about hatches. I’m indecisive, so I went back and forth: fish or not… ?? Finally I said there’s no one at home waiting for me, and I won’t be back on a Root River trib at this time of night in this situation for a long time if ever. So I put on an EHC and tossed it out there. The night was very cool… some mosquitoes bombed me a bit… and there was a bit of a night creature chorus. All in all, it was good. The two fish I could get to wouldn’t eat the caddis though. I ignored the fact that they were ignoring the fly and I kept putting it on them. Over and over. I keyed in on the one closest to me and I tried to drift it exactly where it was rising… and like all the books say – persistence won out. Fish took the caddis and it was a joyful moment there in the night, on that little stream. That was all I needed so I packed up and drove north.

36 Comments:

Blogger Terry said...

Good report and great photos - them gars gots the scary teeth, don't they?

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Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

The teeth are like needles, yes indeed. I would really like to catch a gar.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Jean-Paul Lipton said...

I need to chase some longnose with a rope fly. I wish I had a boat....

nice story J

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