Sunday, January 10, 2010
#3 It just looked like a fish should be there...
Wow...#3 already. This thing seems to running away on me. I had full intentions of making this a winter project but have been so inspired by the photo's and memories that I can't seem to slow down. Harv has so graciously offered to step in after my tenure with his list so we can all rest assured there will be more quality offerings to weather the remainder of January.
Once again the 2006 season provides us with fish and a story. On this particular outing the river was running huge. I believe it was around 1.6 or so on the graph and pretty much at my absolute limit for wading and crossing. We had started low and made our way up to Sausage and back. We had put a ridiculous amount of fish on the bank already and the majority were stellar healthy fish. We had just finished working over the wintering hole and started down the trail towards the spot where the small stream from the beaver pond enters the main river. We started to cross the river here when I stopped mid way. A small off-pace slot in the middle of the torrent caught my attention and I told Norland I was gonna make a drift though there as it just looked like a fish should be there. Under normal conditions this section holds no fish but today with the big water it just looked right. As Gene carried on towards the bank I threw a cast out and slowly continued making the crossing. As soon as the float made its swing into the slot it disappeared and I set up on a what I thought was a fair to mid sized fish. The river was huge by our standards and we were in already in fast water so I had my work cut out for me. I was just getting into fishing the 15'r that year and luck would have it in my hands this day. He ended up taking us well down around the bend, through two more sets of rapids and after what seemed an eternity, into Norlands grasp. What we saw left us both utterly shocked and speechless. I can remember Gene almost being more excited than I at the mere sight of this fish. Truth be known this fish beat the crap out of me. With the water far into the grass and the chase through the boulders I was spent and bewildered that we actually landed this beast. We could actually see the veins in the fins. We made a measurement on the rod and when I checked it out at home with a tape it was in the 32" range. By far my largest fish of the season and personal best at the time. It just felt like it was one of those things that were meant to be. Destined for this list I guess. We had probably walked by that water thousands of times without ever thinking it an option but this day under these conditions something told me to give it a go.
I guess this serves as an example of why one should keep their options open. Do not become narrow focused and only fish the water that has historically produced fish. The conditions change and so do the holding patterns. If you are apt to be more adaptive and open in your approach in reading the water of the day you will be excessively rewarded. If you can master this art you can pretty much travel around the Great Lakes with a formula for success in your back pocket.