|Cahaba Lily or Shoals Spider Lily (Hymenocallis coronaria)|
They are supposed to bloom from approximately Mother's Day to Father's Day. Mother Nature decided to go ahead and grace us with their presence for Earth Day this year instead.
It's the first time Kelly and I have seen these locally famous flowers named for the river that flows through the heart of the Birmingham metropolitan area. Sadly, you have to drive well outside of the city to see the lilies. Kelly and I found them in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. The flowers have become a symbol of the river that is considered to be one of the most biodiverse watersheds in North America.
|Maybe I'll get one of these license plates.|
We weren't sure what to expect as far as the fishing was concerned, but we went to the river refuge hoping for more than just a chance to see lilies in bloom. The weather was less than ideal. It had been quite cool the night before, and the wind was ripping through the valley making fly casting a challenge to say the least.
We were not deterred. The sight of Cahaba Lilies in the distance and the hope of willing Spotted Bass called us to wade further upstream. We waded and probed every likely spot with our poppers for quite a while. By the time we reached the lilies, Kelly had landed one small Spot and I missed what I believed to be an average Green Sunfish.
I did not come here for Green Sunfish... and neither did Kelly.
The wind was becoming too ridiculous to deal with, and we began to wade and cast our way back to where we entered the water. It was nearly going to go down in history as a less than stellar day, but then... in a nice looking lie, tight to the bank, Kelly found what we were looking for...
|Big bass on a Booglebug|
I coached her on playing the fish, but she didn't need my help. "Keep your rod high," I said, as if she didn't know what to do... but we all know she's well past that lesson in the curriculum. Perhaps I can take at least some credit for being a good teacher, but that's little consolation when I catch nothing and she catches a truly remarkable fish.
|20" Alabama Bass (Micropterus henshalli)|
As usual, I was outfished by a girl,
I couldn't have been any happier.