Well it seems that life has kept me away from the river for longer than I would have liked, but I finally had the day off and with a good forecast, decided today it was time to catch some smallies! I made it to the river around 9:30, put on the waders and rigged up above one of my favorite stretches. I eased into the water and made my way down to the bottom of a pool that has a run that splits around some midstream boulders. A few casts, a take, and my first smallie of 2012 was on he line. Several more 10-13" fish quickly came to hand and I continued to pick up fish as I headed up toward the next pool. I was surprised at the next pool as it seems like a perfect prespawn hangout...but only a few small fish would cooperate. At the next upstream pool, I finally connected with a nice fish who decided to tear off downstream in the current. I played the fish thru the rapid and down to the lower pool where the fat 15-16" smallie came to hand. After no more luck in the pool, I decided it was time to try another of my favorite pools that seemed like the prespawn females would be cruising for food in preparation of the spawn.
Once at the pool I got in at the tail end in the shallow gravel covered section of the pool. On the second cast to the shallows, I felt the line tighten and caught another nice, fat, 15" smallie. I made another cast back to almost the same spot and felt another bump. I set the hook and felt some resistance this time. Headshaking...jumping, and tearing off drag commenced and after a nice fight, I finally landed the 3.5lb 17" smallie. She was definitely getting ready for the spawn but looked like she had a week or 2 left. 2 casts later another nice, fat 15-16" fish decided to cooperate as well and my day had been made! I looked around in the sandy/ gravelly areas but saw no signs of the spawn...It's gotta be close...but it's not here yet.
After the success at the bottom of the pool, I continued to pick up a couple of 10-13" fish around the pool until I got to the top of the pool. At the top of the pool I began casting to the large eddies on either side of the numerous runs that come into the pool. I felt a hard tap and set the hook into another nice fish. The fish headed downstream into the pool and started taking line. I was surprised by the several long runs the fish made and how hard the fish was fighting After a little babying a beautiful, chuncky 19" smallie was landed. I weighed the fat girl and she was right at 4lbs, my personal best river smallie to date. I ' ve caught longer ones...but not fatter. I fished the rest of the afternoon catching many more nice fish, packed up and headed home. My river had welcomed me back to her waters with open arms!
First Smallie of 2012!
First nice fat fish
First nice fish from the bottom of the pool.
2 casts later