After the Commotion
After the canoeists, after the kayaks and float tubes. After the swimmers, rock skippers, playful children and those wet dogs, the river runs desolate again except for a few fishermen wanting to try their luck.
I traveled upriver away from the others. Parking along the side of the road, under pines, I grabbed my 6wt Winston Vapor, fanny pack of streamers, poppers and big dry flies, and headed down the bank to the water. The wide section ran with wavy current flow around boulders and over rock formations. I carefully stepped on and over these silt covered rock formations on the river bed for ample room for a back cast. Within easy distance to the middle of the river I pulled out line while looking over the flowing water. My forward cast shot the 6WF line outward and my bead head multicolored woolly bugger plopped into the distant wavy current. I mended up river some and watched my fly line. The bugger drifted and than started to swing in a big arc when the current caught the floating line. At the end of the swing I stripped in the bugger a few times and started another back-cast. I single hauled the back-cast and pointed the rod tip a bit more up river. A couple more feet of fly line exited the tip top and the bugger fell further out than before. During the swing, with a sharp tug, the line drew tight and I yanked back on the rod. Within seconds a smallmouth leaped out of the flowing current trying to shake the hook set free. Rays of sunshine, from the setting sun overlooking the river, glistened off his scaly body. It reentered with a splash, tugged line upriver and again erupted out of the flowing water skyward twisting with aggression. He flopped back in, turned down river and took off. My fly line arced behind with his quickness. I clinched the butt end of my stogie between my teeth a little tighter and held on while line slipped through my fingers. Having slowed downstream I pinched the line and applied more pressure. He followed the flexing rod up river and than once more cleared water with fierce head shakes before plunging back into the current flow. A small battle ensued before I got him swimming my way. Picking him up the bugger dangled from his mouth.
After releasing the smallmouth I continued fishing for another half hour or so into the fading light. It wasn’t until I snagged up and had to break off that I called it quits for the day.
Back at the van I changed out of my wet wading pants, socks and felt sole wading shoes. In the drivers seat I reached into my traveling humidor and pulled out a Bahia Icon. Wetting the dark outer leaf with my lips and tongue there was a slight bitterness. Lighting up and the first draw was a smooth pleasing taste. On the road the sky grew dark and the red embers glowed at the end of the barrel while a nice white ash developed.
Traveling along the river road, while puffing on the stogie, was enjoyable, quiet, peaceful and a great ending to this story!!
A righteous smallie from Saturday