Friday morning I woke to rain and cool weather, but I WANT TO FISH!!
I called Brian to see if he wanted to hit the Little Miami. We looked at the radar and then looked at the radar and thought maybe we would look at the radar just one more time. THERE!…right there between all of the dark green on the radar screen, we saw a break where there would be no rain. YES…we would go fishing!
I met Brian up at the Little Miami and we knew we would have the stream to ourselves. Most everyone would have cancelled their canoe trip for this rainy Friday. We slowly waded across the stream and I had my eye on a grass patch on the far bank. I tossed a few cast downstream just to get in the groove and then my first cast to the grass….BAMM…nice smallie smashed my D&H Bugger the minute it hit the water. He ran around a bit and did not want to come to hand, but he finally chilled out and I released him. I worked a long stretch of riffles that I knew held fish, but only picked up a couple more smallies. I was not getting hits where I should have. I worked the slack water on the edges and the slow runs behind some nice rocks. Nothing. And then came the rain. Big downpour. Brian and I hunkerd’ down under some branches and waited it out. After a bit we were back at it. Another passing shower. Not much was happening so we thought we would walk back to our vehicles and move locations.
Back at my vehicle I started to have some lunch and then the rain came down again. Brian decided to head out and I finished my sandwich and apple and then decided to try another spot. The set of riffles I approached looked great. I have fished these riffles in the past with success in the fast water. I ran my D&H Bugger through every bit of the riffles and nothing. I worked the tail of the riffles and nothing. The rumble of thunder was ever present. The fast water was behind me and I though I would switch to a size 4 Dixie Devil and try some top water. I have not had much action on top water the last few years, but it is always fun to try. I chucked the fly under some branches and let it sit for a long time. As the current started to pull my fly line I had a fish swirl at my fly, but not strike it. I decided to not do anything and let the current just smoothly pull the fly out of the dark depths of the bank. SSSMMMAAAAAAASHHHH!!!!!!!! this fish destroyed the fly! He engulfed the popper and took it to the bottom and then jumped high trying to spit the fly and then ran around some more. He pulled line out twice and I even had time to tighten my drag knob. I am glad I had on the 12lb Big Nasty leader for this fight. I walked backwards to the bank and landed him. I went to ease him in the water and he took off with tons of power left over.
Just then I could feel some cool air blowing around and I knew the big storm was on the way. I headed up stream and passed great looking water without being tempted. Now the trees were singing with the wind kicking up. I got back to my vehicle parked in the woods and took my reel off and separated my rod and just laid it in my fishpond Dakota without even putting it in the rod sock (I never do that). I grabbed a water and a granola bar and started to climb in and here came the rain. Big drops. I drove out of the woods to the main road and could barely see 5 feet in front of me. I sat there for a bit and let things settle down before I started the drive south to Cincinnati. The storm came in fast and I didn’t even have a chance to take off my boots. Wet, squishy neoprene socks and Patagonia wading boots for the drive home!!