Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are You Sharp Enough?

Man, this weather has got me frisky as a newborn colt.  I can't wait to get off work and hit the river for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Yesterday I grabbed Kathy's kayak and headed to the Chattahoochee for some topwater shoal bass fishing.  What a great crisp afternoon it was, just cool enough to warrant waders at dark.  I paddled upstream for about a quarter mile and beached the kayak below a beautiful set of shoals.  I was determined to fish on top with my old standby, a white Stealth Bomber, and nothing else.  Twenty minutes later I had long distance released 4 nice shoalies and was trying to figure out why.  I recalled that this same fly had resulted in a couple of similar disengagements Sunday afternoon when the old Edison incandescent went off in my little pea brain and suggested I check my hook for sharpness.  Sure enough, the only Stealth Bomber I had with me was dull as a hammer and I had nothing to sharpen it with.  To add insult to injury, the first fish I lost was probably the largest shoal bass I have tied into this year.  I had thrown my fly right into a turbulent frothy mix of currents coming over a ledge.  The fly floated maybe two feet when this guy exploded on it from beneath the whitewater.  Chalking it up to bad luck, I kept fishing and proceded to lose three more nice fish in the next twenty yards.  The bite was definitely on but I was ignorantly unprepared.  Checked the hook on my thumbnail and it slid right off.  A big no-no!  When I'm trout fishing, I always have some kind of sharpener on me but not last night going for bass.  And it cost me big time.  Make yourself a note and tape it to your fly rod; "Check Hooks for Sharpness, Dummy!"

I did manage to land at least as many as I lost before dark-thirty set in and I floated back downstream to my truck.  Largest one was probably 12 inches; nothing like the first brute that threw my fly back in my face.  I'm already planning a rematch.

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