In my book there is only one good reason to get up early this time of year. Of course there are many other reasons I DO get up early such as work and chores around the house but the only one I really get excited about is FISHING!
This past Friday I awoke early to go with my buddy - Marty - to a local private pond on a beautiful working farm. I have heard him tell of massive fish and plenty of them in this pond so I was fairly excited. As fish stories go, I was still a bit skeptical but hopeful that the pond lived up to his bragging. After my first five casts and three fish to show for it I was a true believer. Either we had hit this pond at precisely the right time or this was truly one of the best ponds I have been to.
Taking one of my favorite graphite rods - the one built by Marty - I strung up my Abel Fly Reel and went to work. Quickly I learned that I was quite under prepared for the size of fish in this pond. My hooks and inch and a half streamers where not tempting enough for to many large fish but the mid sized fish were killing them.
Tossing a 7in Sinko worm he had hooked into a bass most guys would chalk up as a bass of the year for them. Then he returned to casting and after less than twenty minutes he did it again! Another hawg on the line (a 5lb'er) and another hero shot to show for it. Quickly I realized that I was out-gunned on this trip. I was catching what would normally be respectable size bass but compared to the fish he was hauling in my fish would be considered bait.
Undaunted, I continued fishing and hooked into a whole lot of fish. Finally I hooked into a very nice crappie making my day a small slam - Bass- sunfish - and a crappie on the fly rod.
Moving down the shore I tried to cast again and heard a snap. Thinking that I had hit the fly on the graphite, I tried to cast again and heard an even worse snap. I had broken my favorite Graphite 7w rod!! Luckily Marty had come prepared and brought a second spin outfit. With a little disappointment at having to retire my fly rod and Abel Reel, I picked up the spin rig and went to work.
One fish I hooked into on the decline was a good sized bass with about a three inch gash taken from its back. It looked as if something had taken a machete to it so of course I had to take a picture. Not having any massive toothed creatures in a pond like this, quickly ruling out northern species like a pike, the only option was that a big turtle was trying to have a large meal of bass. The fish was still very strong but I was not sure he would survive. A cut like that is hard to recover from.
For this Friday it was a a great way to end a week. and with the fishing bug satisfied I can now start another week. After that its a few family trips across the nation. With any luck I will be able to do a little more fishing along the way.
(This is the last fish caught on my 7w - nicknamed the Flying Dutchman) Not a bad way to end a career. Fair thee well old friend - you have caught many fish in your short 5 year life. From cutthroats in Idaho to the bass of the south, well done... well done....