Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fall River Bamboo - A Day Of Beautiful Things

  The moment I got the Outdoor Bloggers Traveling Fly Rod made by Fall River Fly Rods I wanted to go out and fish it.  Like a kid on Christmas morning, I tore into the tube eager to get a look at the grass that was inside.  It was a thing of beauty!  Every inch hand crafted and perfect.  As a guy that loves the art of such things, I held it in my hands in awe of the time and skill that went into making it. Unfortunately that was all I could do because the next day I left on a series of business trips that took me away from any chance of using this piece of art for nearly a week and a half.
   Throughout my travels my mind kept drifting back to that Fall River bamboo creation waiting for me at home and the fish that I catch once I got there.  It was an agonizing period of time and when the day finally came for me to fish it all I could do was worry about two things; One - would I catch any fish with it, and Two - Would I break it?
    This past weekend I awoke crazy early - 4am in an effort to beat the heat.  The forcast called for another record breaking day of 100 degree plus temperatures and I felt that if I had any shot to catch fish, I had to do it early.  Starting on a section of the upper Chattooga River (that's right - The Deliverance River - The same river that is in that classic movie staring Burt Reynolds) I began to test out the legs of this one of a kind fly rod.
    First off, the past recommendations on fishing any bamboo rod were dead on.  This fly rod loads great but you need to slow down and take your time.  Like a zen master practicing his morning exercises on the banks of a quiet stream, you need to just savor the feel of the grass in your hand and let the rod do the work.
    After a few short minutes I got the feel of the rod and began to hook into a pool of rainbows.  One after another, these fish fell  victim to the bamboo and the midges dangling at the end of my 5x tippet.  None of these bows were any big test for the strength of this rod which was fine by me.  As I stated earlier, my biggest fear was breaking this beauty.  After wearing out the pool I hiked up a feeder stream and hooked into a few more nice colored bows before taking a side trail back to my car.
    Even at temperatures reaching into the 100's, this area of the country is stunning.  Carefully weaving my way between towering oaks and overhanging magnolia trees, it is amazing the life and beauty you find hidden on the forest floor.  I have always loved the mountain magnolias in bloom.
    With its huge flowers, and a great tree for shade, these trees are the perfect hiding place for a spider to weave his web.  I found this big guy on the end of the bamboo after I inadvertently swiped the rod through his web.  After taking a moment to get a few picks and study this guy, I let him back into the forest.  His web however was another matter.  Back at the car I worked for all of ten minutes to get the sticky webbing off the rod and fly line.  This stuff was so tough I briefly contemplated using it for tippet material.  I pity the poor sparrow that might have flown into this guys web because that bird would be hard pressed to escape.
    Once the web was cut free, I packed up the rod and headed for my real reason for fishing the Chattooga in 100 degree heat.  The Red Eyed bass!!
    I accidentally hooked into one of these last year while fishing for rainbows and I was fascinated how a bass could live next to trout in such cool, fast water.  After further research I couldn't wait to try my hand targeting these uniquely southern Bass.  I remembered that this bass fought as hard as any brown I had ever caught.  It never went into any aerial jumps and I was sure it was a massive brown until I got it close and saw it was a bass.  My initial disappointment turn to wonder and has now developed into a quest, and with the Fall River Bamboo Fly Rod in hand I headed out with those red eyes in my mind.
    The latest edition of my favorite fly fishing magazine had advice on fishing Redeyes and I used the info to my advantage.  Targeting a large rock exposed in the current, I took my time and dropped a #12 wolly bugger about two feet directly behind the rock and in the slack water the bass is known to lurk.  Immediately from the deep rose a dark shadow and took the bamboo and me on a nice little ride.  Believe me when I tell you that what these bass lack in size (they are not known to get much over four pounds and even that would be big), these river bass make up for in fight.  I suppose living in the cool, swift moving water breeds strength.
    I am calling it right now, these redeyed bass are going to be a fish people will travel for.  They might not reach the heights of the Yellowstone Cuts but in the south, I would take these bass over any small or bucket mouth.  They are now on my radar and I am hooked.     
    After a few more hookups and great fights I dabbed the sweat as best I could on my already soaked shirt and watched a large cottonmouth swim past me with a look in his eye I didn't much care for.  Shortly after hooking into a beautiful sunfish I started the long hike back to the car.
    Overall it was a day filled with beautiful things.  The Fall River Fly Rod was amazing and by far the best looking and relaxing fly rod I have ever fished with. ( If you are in the market for some sweet grass you need one of these rods.)  The river itself never disappoints with its steep walls, waterfalls, and swift cool water.  The flora and fauna was amazing and especially the hat trick of sorts (that right--- I called a bow, a bass, and blugill a hat trick) was a perfect addition of to a scorcher of a weekend.
    I would like to thank the Outdoorbloggernetwork and Fall River Fly Rods for giving me a chance to fish this beauty.  It is now on to its next angler to try his hand at fishing grass and I challenge him to have half the fun I did while it was in my hands!  FISH ON!!