Lake Fausse Point, Louisiana

April 25th, 2005

Finally!

Though it was too late for last week's issue, I finally made it to the water in earnest last Sunday.

It was mid-afternoon before we left. My friend, the Old Fella, and my son boarded the boat and arrived at Grande Avoille Cove about three o'clock. My compatriots were fishing bait. I rigged up my favorite bluegill fly, the Jitterbee, under an indicator on my eight-and-a-half foot Rapidan.

Water levels still were a little low, but much better than last time I had made a scouting trip to the lake. But I only motored the boat half as far into the cove as usual, and we began fishing a bit nearer the entrance than I usually like.

The bite was dismal at first, but we managed a few small bream. There's a small canal running off the south of the cove I named after my girl because it's her favorite place in the whole basin. I normally start fishing about there, and sure enough, when we got to that area things improved remarkably.

My son, who's twelve, caught more fish on this trip than any previous one. I tried to negotiate down the canal, but the big boat wouldn't make it in the shallows there, especially with three persons aboard. We found a couple spots where the chinquapins, or redears, were ganged up and the three of us took turns pulling them out. Of course, the Old Fella and I made sure we were busy checking our bait or Jitterbee so that the youngster would get in a few extra turns. The chinquapin were big and feisty, mixed in with a few goggle-eye (warmouth) and red-breasted bream thick as a Stephen King paperback.

The Jitterbee, originated by Randy Leonpacher, is my favorite warmwater fly of all. I started off with red and black but the 'gills seemed less than enthused. I switched to chartreuse and black and this was welcomed with tip-bending vigor. We also landed two catfish, and about four small bass.

Oh, we had our share of toils, too. We laughed in bemused frustration at them. I laughed through grinding teeth when a missed strike brought leader, indicator, Jitterbee and a couple feet of line twirling around the rod tip, wrapping inside and outside of itself, in a convoluted mess that took me twenty minutes to disentangle. The Old Fella and boy laughed with heads shaking as they worked loose two snarled lines that kissed upon a mutual swing backward for the cast.

It was our first outing of the spring, and a fantastic one. When the sun was getting low in the sky, I found the only hole of deep water in the cove, at the mouth of Sawmill Bayou, throttled hard to get the boat on plane and departed. We bumped a log pretty hard on the way out, but there was no damage. That log had never been there before, but that's the way it is in the basin: Always changing. We got home just before dark, satisfied and tired. It was a good trip. Despite the weariness, the recharge of the soul had begun.

I went back Monday and Wednesday, but the bite was much slower due to a storm front having passed through, with strong south winds that actually brought water levels higher.

Now, the weatherman is predicting a cold front for Friday. Figures. ~ Roger

It's out! And available now! You can be one of the first to own a copy of Roger's book. Native Waters: A Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat

Order it now from www.iuniverse.com, Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.com. Roger will also be giving away three autographed copies to readers. Stay tuned, for an announcement on the Bulletin Board on that soon.


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