Meanwhile on Tionesta Creek
I cast out towards the deeper pool, after adding some weight. It searched for another trout without success. I moved to the calm water near the far bank and searched some more.
Swinging and easing my strips I felt the swipe at the end of my line. This time I was able to gain better control of my catch in the slower current. It wasn’t long before my 9’ custom 4 weight fly rod was able to bring the trout to my net. A fine looking rainbow was captured.
The next trout took the Bugger as I stripped it in towards me. He flashed and turned outward towards the opposite bank. We wrestled until his strength eased and I brought another to my net.
The afternoon was relaxing and calm. Seldom did a vehicle drive along the road disturbing the quietness of my surroundings. I had no where I needed to belong, time was on my side!!
The long cast dropped my Woolly Bugger in the calmer water beyond the main flow of water midstream. Instantly I noticed the fly line dip below the surface quicker than expected. I stripped line back and reared back to take up the slack in hopes of getting a straight line to set the hook. I felt the resistance. At first it felt like I had a twisted heavy branch being pulled down creek with the current. I jerked the rod back enough just to make sure of the hook set. I felt the weighty fish arc with the line towards midstream, pulling and tugging wanting to take me down creek further. I knew right away this wasn’t a trout. It didn’t try to escape with speed but more trying to muscle his escape with weight and letting the undercurrent push him as he tried to stay at a crosscurrent angle. I gripped the cork tightly in my right hand with my left fingers tensioning the fly line as needed. Once I got the fish directly down creek from me I started to guide him towards me. As I brought him closer I held the rod with one hand as I undid the net from my belt and let it dangle in the water by the lanyard. The fish surfaced suddenly, splashing, trying to get away. There I seen he was a pig of a smallmouth. I reached to net him but he skimmed the surface water and headed back out midstream. I let enough line out, as the 4 weight flexed deep into the top third of its length, to settle the smallie down so I could get control again. I reeled line in until I had only a few inches of fly line extending from the tip top. As the rod arced the fish drew near enough I was able to scoop the big boy up.
“What a nice smallmouth”
Was this to be my last catch?
I fished for some time later making my way down creek some. I returned to the spot I caught the big smallmouth and decided to make my last few casts in the same area.
The evening started to cool as the sun lowered beneath the mountains making the shadows upon the water grow long. Even the creek water felt colder as it circled my hip waders. A few more casts I thought.
I placed the bugger about where I had caught the smallmouth. I let the bugger sink a little longer before taking up slack and letting the slow current start to swing it down stream. I didn’t let it swing too far before I twitched the rod tip and started to strip the long length of line in with 3 second intervals. The line tugged, in between the strips, and I set the hook with a quick strip and yank of the rod. The force and speed of my captured fish took line quickly down creek. I knew this wasn’t another bass. Once I got him turned in my direction and calmed, I got him swimming in my direction with a lot of zigging and zagging. Once near he darted outward. I let him exert more energy hoping the hook wouldn’t come undone. Within time I got him close enough to scoop him up in my net. A fine rainbow completed the day.
Next stop was to be at The Kelly Hotel for wings and a couple of cold brews before heading home.