In 2013, the Christmas Crawdad has become truly legendary.
I present to you the greatest accomplishment of the Christmas Crawdad to date... and one that is likely to never be surpassed...
|"Merry Christmas from AR!"|
|Christmas Crawdad barely visible in the mouth|
This fish is my new personal best Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by about three or four pounds. I'm not exactly sure, but I think it was in the neighborhood of 8 lbs... quickly landed, photographed, and returned to the river. We didn't want to stress her out by taking too many pics or measurements. A fish that big deserves a little respect.
Unfortunately, we left our proper fishing camera at home and didn't realize it until we were about half way to the river... so the only record of my biggest trout ever are a few crappy cell phone pics. However, if we had the proper camera, I'm sure I would have never landed this fish on 5X tippet using a ridiculous fly crafted from holiday decorations.
In addition to this "UN believable" trout (as Bill Trussell of "Fishing Through Life" responded to a picture text I sent him that said "Merry Christmas from AR!"), we also caught a few other fishes.
Kelly landed this cute little toothy critter that we thought might have been a Muskie (Esox masquinongy) at first, but it turns out it's a Grass Pickerel (E. americanus). There are Muskie in the Spring River, but there are also Pickerel in the impoundment formed by the dam at Mammoth Springs. I'm going to guess this little guy got washed over the wall in a recent high water event.
|Grass Pickerel (E. americanus)|
Kelly also established a new personal best on this trip... which is not nearly as impressive as my new personal best if I do say so... but an accomplishment nonetheless. (I know I'm gonna eat those words when bass fishing season gets underway.)
Believe it or not, Kelly's new personal best Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)...
Kelly and Brown Trout have had a mysterious relationship. She just can't seem to find them. She briefly hooked and lost a nicer one in the Chattahoochee River in Georgia a little over two years ago, but her encounters with Browns prior to this have been... how should I say it?... a whole lot cuter.
Like last year, we counted raptors as we drove the highway from Memphis to the Spring River. We didn't see as many Northern Harriers as last year, and only one Bald Eagle this year, but we did record 66 Red-tailed Hawks. Last year we didn't keep up with the exact number of Redtails, but there definitely weren't as many as this year. Needless to say, eastern Arkansas along the Mississippi flyway is a great place for winter hawk watching... even at 70 mph through the windows of a car.
Except for the minor inconvenience of a forgotten camera, we (I) really couldn't have had a better day of fishing for Christmas this year. I hope everyone out there has enjoyed a wonderful holiday season thus far, and I wish you all tight lines and bent rods for 2014.