Set up camp on Thursday at Low-water Bridge Campground. We wade fished that evening with our fly rods. I couldn’t buy a bite, but my fishing partner did pretty well. He got about a dozen different panfish from between ledges. My indicator kept sliding down to my fly and it was a real pain.
The next day, I played guide to row my canoe on a six mile section that ended near the campground. We found the best fishing to be in current seams near riffles. My friend took many fish that way while I back-rowed to keep us in position. It was great to see him take so many fish. Most came on a “smoke” grub fished on a 3/16 oz ball head jig. We later found that the small fish were really keyed into something on the surface, we never did figure out what. I started throwing a popper during a leg stretch/wade and got a response on nearly every cast, but the fish were so small that none were hooked. I chose not to put on a small popper to hook such small fish. It was fun watching them blow up on the popper and knock it around. Later in the day we got to some slow water and began indicator fishing. This time I had the sense to tie on a hopper dropper instead of an indicator. I got a few hits, but by then I was tired and making silly errors. On one hookset, I put a bluegill into orbit.
The next day it was individual kayaks on the next four miles of river. We fished it slow and methodically, taking our own sweet time to really enjoy the sites and to get out and wade from time to time. It was six hours on the river for four miles of water. I took only a spinning rod and my friend took only a fly rod. He had a mixed bag - catching panfish, a sucker, largemouth and smallmouth - all on the same indicator rig. It was a fly popular in Britain. All I can say is that it looked like a hairy bit of beef jerky on a hook. As a joke, another fellow who was along actually chummed for him with some beef jerky bits in a backwater channel, but the joke was on him as it worked beautifully. I fished a Case Jack’s Worm on an unweighted hook. Cast out on a quartering cast downstream (long casts, as the water was low and clear), then give it time. Nothing of large size. The largest was a 13" largemouth caught by another friend. But all who were fishing were catching, each of us using a different technique. The friend who caught the largemouth was fishing a smoke grub on an EWG worm hook and a couple of large split shot up front to get it low in the water. Most fish were found in deeper water. There was scant little actually “deep” water, but where there were holes in the bottom, that’s where the fish were. Long casts or light tippets were necessary because of the extreme water clarity.
Each evening was campfire music. One night we had six different pickers around the campfire, each sharing a song before the next played. We kept it going that way for a long time. I heard some darned good music, and others heard me play.
- Big D