I don't fish early in the morning. Every workding day I get up at 4:21 am and when it comes to fishing at sunrise or sleeping - I choose sleeping. I can fish all day long, but can't sleep all day long. I know, I know, that makes me a less than optimal fisherman because the best fishing is at sunrise. So be it.
But this morning I did go earlier than usual. Not crack of dawn stuff, but early enough. Before breakfast, after one cup of coffee. Trying to beat the COE's water surge.
The water is still at 60 degrees. It was a bit chilly on wading in, made my feet ache some. The water is a little higher than low flow but wadeable. A bit swift too. I didn't have much hope of catching any and for quite awhile that's how it worked out.
Before climbing the bank to eat a late breakfast I waded down to the creek mouth and tossed a fly into the edge of the trees piled up there, casting from out in the river. Cast three times and was thinking of calling it done when BAM! Something tore off with my line. Something heavy and fighting mad. I had expected to catch a small bluegill if anything but this was a good fish!
We fought back and forth for awhile. Mostly I tried to keep him out of the trees on one side and out of the river current on the other. If he got into that current we were going to be in for a long drawn out wading down the river kind of fight. Keeping the fight in the creek mouth helped a lot. This fellow came out of the water twice; shaking his jaw and tail dancing high and proud. It was as pretty as it gets.
I'm not good at guessing wieght so I won't try. He measured 18" long. I took a couple of pictures. I recently started carrying a camera with me. This camera doesn't have a wrist strap so I was juggling the fish on the line and the camera and taking pictures and trying to one hand the camera and not drop it - and only a couple came out half decent. Anyone got any good tips for taking pictures in the middle of a river?
Earlier I was fishing further up-river. I was standing thigh deep in about the same spot a cottonmouth ran me out of the river some time back. I was happy the water was cold, thinking it too cold for snakes. As I was wading down stream with the current something long and thin hit the backs of my thighs, I looked down and saw something dark and long and rolling around my right leg. There was a split second I thought it was a cottonmouth. It was a damn stick. Scared the living crap out of me. Sorry Waco - if the water is a little browner now - I apologize.