Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rainy reward

For the past four years, I've been telling Kelly about the magical fishing moments that can happen in the middle of a downpour. Kelly doesn't like to be cold and wet, so she usually just dismisses my suggestions to go fishing in the rain. This weekend was different. She was determined to go fishing, so we went in spite of the weather.

We waded our neighborhood creek armed with ultralights yesterday afternoon, and for the short amount of time we put in, I'd say we had some pretty good success. I caught three bass while Kelly only caught two...

but one of hers easily outweighed all three that I caught combined.

Good things come to those who fish in the rain.

I think now she may actually believe me when I tell her that the fishing can really heat up when the rain starts falling. That fish is hands down the largest either of us has caught from our little neighborhood creek, and I seriously wouldn't expect to catch any bigger. This is a small creek- barely twenty feet wide in most places and only two or three feet deep in the deepest holes. The particular hole near the bank where this fish was hanging out was probably only a foot and a half deep, four or five feet long, and maybe two feet wide. Just before catching the fish, Kelly had been dealing with a minor line explosion from her reel because it had fresh new line on it. I fished a few other likely spots while I waited on her to deal with the mess, and I intentionally left that hole for her to fish with her plastic worm. Once she got her line situation straightened out, she began to wade forward (thinking I had already fished all of the good spots). I told her to stop so she wouldn't spook the hole and let her know that I had saved it for her. I told her where to cast because I thought there might be a decent fish there. The result was the fish pictured above.

Sometimes I'm just too nice and make it way too easy for her, but I'm really glad she caught the fish. To her credit, she made a perfect cast into the hole, worked the worm like a pro, made the strike at the right moment, and played the fish to perfection... and to think... at this time last year she had never even fished a plastic worm.

Today was actually our first serious attempt of the year to fly fish for bass, and the results were pretty poor. Kelly caught the only bass of the day on the fly- a small Spotted Bass on a big cone head woolly bugger.

First bass of 2013 on a fly

The rain wasn't too bad today, but the stream we fished was running a little high and the wading was pretty difficult. After we gave up wading with fly rods, we spent a few minutes fishing from the bank with ultralights. I landed a pair of small basses- one Spot and one Largemouth. I was really hoping for a big bass on the fly for Easter, but I think Kelly may have used up all of our luck yesterday.

Hopefully, her rainy day bass will be the first of many good fish for this year. It looks like we're already off to a great start.

16 comments:

  1. Looks like you two are off to a good start for sure. Have to agree with you on fishing in the rain. I can recall a number of times when the fishing just took off the harder it rained the better the fishing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have good rain gear, then you might as well take advantage of the days when a lot of other guys stay at home. We saw a bunch of people out in the rain on Pickwick Lake in north Alabama yesterday. The fish don't care if it rains... they're all wet anyway, and the more you think or act like a fish the better you are at catching them, right?

      Delete
  2. Dude, she always "wins". I love small streams and it still amazes me some of the fish you can find in them. The main reason I love them so much is that you can easily learn them and that they are easier to see fish in, he he. Lovely coloring on your smaller bass. One of the most exciting things for me is proving to folks that I can pull a bass out of just about any stream and that odd or unthought of locations are just part of the fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Josh, couldn't agree with you more... except for maybe that "easier" bit. They're easy if you can be stealthy and know how to approach them, but if you wade in like a hippo and chunk a huge spinnerbait you might not catch that 3 lb. bass that rules the tiny stream. I'm perfectly fine with most bass fisherman not having a clue how to fish a small stream.

      Delete
  3. It looks like you guys found the right combo with the spinning gear and plastic worms. Was this a big female? Glad you guys were able to connect on a rainy day. I haven't tried Smith yet for bass, just too much generating and water falling. I have learned that the bass on the fly is most active when the water temps are in the 60's. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, I think it was definitely a pre-spawn female. We caught a couple other smaller Alabama Spots in there that also appeared to be females getting geared up to spawn. Keep us updated on Smith.

      Delete
  4. Right on! Nice fish! Let me guess, you had the creek to yourself?

    When I was about 8 years old, at my Grandma's lake cabin in Wisconsin, my uncle took me fishing in the middle of a rainstorm and we slaughtered the largemouth. It was one of those days that cemented my future as an angler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk, we shared the creek with two Belted Kingfishers who seemed to be having a territorial dispute... but no other human anglers. Thanks for sharing your story. I had some pretty memorable fishin' in the rain experiences as a teenager, but most of those involved catfish in muddy ditches. A Largemouth lake in Wisconsin sounds like a much better environment to me.

      Delete
  5. Looks like a good trip, rain or not! I used to fish some small creeks around home when I was younger but I don't have access to them anymore. Sometimes those small streams can really surprise me with the fish they hold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joseph, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Catching a good fish in a small stream never gets old. Sorry to hear you don't have access to the streams you fished when you were younger.

      Delete
  6. Nice. I actually prefer rainy days for bass. A good downpour can be the backdrop for some great fishing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I kept trying to tell her!
      Thanks for the comment, Ty.

      Delete
  7. Fishing in the rain can be some of the best fishing there is. Sounds like an enjoyable outing and that is a hog of a bass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, if you saw were it came from you might be even more impressed- a serious small steam hawg.

      Delete
  8. Very cool trip and I agree with you....rain can sometimes enhance a days fishing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Kiwi. I'm glad to know other anglers have had similar experience... it lets me know that it wasn't just coincidence, and that I may not be crazy after all.

      Delete