Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quality over Quantity!

I talked with a friend of mine Terry and we would get together on a large tributary of the Ohio River today for some casting practice. On this section of water there is a riffle tailout that I dream of hooking a fish out of. I have fished there a few times and normally end up fishless. Its these challenges that drives me to return. I grabbed my 6wt switch by Feather Cast Rods, and my Redington Cpx 13’9” 9wt spey rod.  I’m using a RIO Skagit Flight head 675 grain armed with a 191.25 grain (11.25’ long) piece of T17. This section of the river has a wicked gradient over the length of the river we fished today. On my switch rod I ran 375 grain Rio Skagit Spey Short, and the tip I used was an 84 grain (6’) piece of T14. This was to cover the more shallow slower current seams.  I fished a small shad tube 1/8”x 1/2” copper tube and the hook was offset to the rear by four small glass beads. This put the hook into the last quarter of the fly. This is my preferred area for my hooks when I swing patterns. Terry and I met at Wendy’s to head to the river. We arrived at the river and walked down to the water’s edge. I looked at the deep riffle and thought O come on just cooperate just once! I swung the big stick and covered all the deep seams and current breaks with long casts and short casts. I was just about to switch to the switch rod when I felt a heavy thump on the rod! I was hooked up on a fish. It was no match for the rod but it did let me know it took my tube fly. I did not have to put the fish on the reel but when I brought it to hand it was a little irritated Saugeye about 16” in length. It was pretty and wanted to to get back into the river quickly so sorry no pictures of the two handed caught Saugeye. I automatically went to the river bank and lit up a cigar. I watched Terry cast his Scandi setup and took all of what Mother Nature was delivering this morning.  I often find myself fishing off the beaten path. I fish off into another direction all the time hoping for some great outcome. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it does not. I look for the quality experience anymore and not the quantity of fish I can catch! Terry and I switched spots and I waded out to a small rock shoal. I looked at the water and she was moving at five hundred cubic feet a second so you just have to use your brain in these low summer flows and stay out of trouble! I was in the middle of the river swinging down and across in front of a huge wood pile. I would get again the shock of my day! I hooked a gar on the swing. I was happy I used 12 pound test tippet. The gar jumped three times. I thought to myself great. I just hook a spastic gar and its going to rip me to shreds when I go to retrieve the hook. After watching it cartwheel the third time I managed to reel all my line in and have it resting along the shoal in the water. She was about 30 inches long and actually pretty subdued.  I did get Terry’s attention. I yelled help me out please. He walked up the bank to take my backpack to grab my camera. She almost swallowed the hook. I saw the hook protruding from her armored skin. I cut the tippet and pulled the hook out the hole that was already made.  I did this so I would not have to contend with here 1,000 teeth! Enjoy the pictures folks!  She swam away no blood no worse for wear!