Since we were fishing the Spring River in Arkansas... Smallmouth Bass weren't the only thing on the menu. The Spring has a healthy diversity of fishes that I have affectionately written about before. Where else can you catch a Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and several species of panfish all from the same pool in a river? Don't answer that question... there may be a few places in more northern latitudes, but there certainly aren't many in my part of the country. The species diversity is the reason Kelly and I love the Spring so much.
Here's the rundown of what all we caught... to the best of our recollection...
- 2 Shadow Bass
- 1 Largemouth Bass
- 3 Smallmouth Bass
- 1 Bluegill
- 2 Longear Sunfish
- 1 Hornyhead Chub
- 1 Largescale Stoneroller
- 25-30 stocker Rainbows (lost exact count)
Of the Rainbows, I caught about eight while Kelly caught around twenty... but who's counting?
|Cookie cutter Rainbow|
The single Largemouth was caught using my new favorite topwater bass fly, the Bunny Butt Slider, designed and tied by Steven Milburn. Unfortunately, I missed a fish just before I hooked up with the Largemouth that I'm quite sure was a Smallie. It's rare to catch a Smallmouth on the surface at the Spring River, but it was a shallow pool in the early morning, and the conditions just suggested I give the Bunny Butt Slider a try. I didn't really expect to catch a Largemouth... but the Spring is full of surprises.
|Foam and bunny strip make a really nice slider.|
Mr. Milburn tied up this red and white version at my request. I think the pattern imitates a wounded surface minnow very well, and in my experience a red/white combo is usually well received by baitfish predators. The bass seem to like it, and I'm quite sure I missed a trout on it later in the day... not that I really expected to catch a trout with it.
Maybe even more surprising than almost catching a trout on a big bass slider was catching a Longear Sunfish on a large Clouser Minnow (also tied by Steven Milburn). I was trying to get something down deep in a pool that I thought might have a good Smallmouth in it... and instead I caught this little guy. Amazingly, he was fair hooked... even though there was no way he could have physically fit the whole hook in his mouth. He somehow bit the hook point just perfectly.
|Small fish, big appetite|
The Spring River never ceases to amaze... or entertain.