05-15-2011, 11:02 AM
With my new life, new employment, new location and what seemed to be unyielding high, muddy waters in said location, spring has pretty much been a bust for SS. Week before last, I was given the opportunity to work four 10-hour-days with Fridays off while I train in Columbia. Of course, one of the benefits that lept to mind was a weekday off for fishing. And, I knew the first place I'd hit would be my beloved LT. Weekend before, I had been lucky enough to hook up with a new fishing aquaintance in Spartanburg who showed me around some secluded sections of the Pacolet. It's a trib of the mighty Broad and smallies are supposed to be on the rebound there. But on our day there, while we caught several LM (not so sure they were not spots) and bream, most were on the smallish side. I hadn't brought the gear to dredge the deeper holes and I may still have some opportunity to get some better bass. Yesterday needing a fix, I was bound and determined to head for the home waters. I arrived around noon and waded about 3 hours on one my favorite stretches in spring. Almost immediately I fell onto a pattern that a good friend and I hit a few years back where every little plunge pool seemed to have an aggressive 10"-14" smallie hanging under a ledge. On 5 and 6 wt rods, we'd had a great deal of fun in a few short hours catching one after the other as we waded upriver side by side covering about 500 yds of river. The first fish was a nice 14" smallie with bright red eyes that put up a nice fight on the 6wt. Coming to hand, it was like greeting an old friend that I hadn't seen in a long time. I stuck with the pattern and switched between that and bottom bumping when I approached deeper pools. I donated a couple of Hairy Fodders to the Rivergods, but couldn't get the better fish to come out and play scraping bottom. Not surprising. I know that I've basically missed pre-spawn on my home flow, they're most likely on the beds and a difficult catch for the fly guy. Still, I caught upwards of a dozen smallies from the shallower pools, most in the range I mentioned before and, of course, a few redbreast and rockbass are always caught along the way. I finished the day showing off for a couple of guys who pulled up to watch from their canoe. I made a horizontal-loop cast skipping my bug right to the bank underneath some low hanging branches and another 14" smallie sucked down my Stealth Bomber. As I played the fish, they said they'd brought me good luck. Hah! It took many trips and many failed attempts to pull that cast off and get that bug where it needed to be without spooking the fish. I was close to wrapping it up, so I left the river relieved I'd gotten my fix and pretty satisfied with the day's catch.