You know the old saying of going fishing and getting skunked and hearing "You should have been here yesterday"? Well I was there yesterday, and you should have been there!
Me and a fishing buddy went down river about two miles. The river is really low and the deep spots are more defined right now, which mostly compels the fish to become concentrated in those deep spots. I say mostly because, well I'll explain in a minute.
I started off by catching a Texas Salmon of about six pounds - probably better known as a Channel Catfish to some folks. It put up an outstanding fight on my 5wt 9' TFO fly rod with 6 pound leader. I love catching catfish, they are world class fighters and if you're in the mood to kill a fish they are world class eating. Especially the ones out of the Brazos, extremely clean water so the meat is unbelievably sweet.
I also caught half a dozen giant bluegills, hubcaps as they are called. I'd get one on and know immediately it was a bluegill, the way they fight feels like electricity is running through the rod. Big gorgeously beautifully colored hard fighting wonderful fish. And again, so good eating that they are heads and shoulders above even the catfish. I wasn't in the mood to eat fish though so all fish were released.
Then a strange thing happened. Bass always seemed to me to be in the deep holes, especially where there is shade and downed timber. Wading down to a spot like that I was going past a stretch of water that was knee deep and had some downed tree trunks half buried in the bottom.
I cast a black Woolybugger with blue tinsel (time and again proven to me to be the best fly for this river) over next to one of those longs and BAM had a Largemouth on that fought like the dickens and tail danced all over the place. That water was more than crystal clear, out in the open, bright sunlight shining down into it - and I picked seven bass in the 3 to 4 pound range right out of it, almost one after another.
Everyone of them danced up on top for a long time, probably because the water was so shallow and I was using a 9 foot rod. Everyone of them was in prime physical fighting condition and fought better than even most bass normally fight, putting on gorgeous aerobatics, leaping and tail dancing and... well it was as beautiful as it was unexpected from that shallow stretch.
My buddy was using a bait-casting rig and throwing home made soft plastic lizard looking things in a silver/blue/sparkle color combination and he was tearing them up too - he ended up catching only bass but he caught fourteen of them.
Here's a lesson I re-learned. I had a ginormous bass on for about thirty seconds - I'm sure he was in the 8 to 10 pound class - no fooling, I've caught them that size and know what they feel like - and then suddenly he was off. He spit the hook.
I kept on fishing for a good 45 minutes with the same fly before deciding to try a different one. When I pulled the fly in to remove it I found the hook was broken off - that huge bass didn't spit the hook, he broke the hook in two and I had fished for nearly an hour with a hookless fly. Now that's just plain ignorant. But that's me, I still make those stupid and fundamental errors sometimes.
It was a HELL of a good day fishing - today I'm sore and sunburned and grinning like a possum eating bumblebees!