This isn't really an article about new ideas or even how to improve your
skills, it's just a fishing story I think everyone might enjoy. It took
place a couple years ago in Oklahoma near a major resort area. I had skipped
fishing the main lake because it wasn't feasible in a float tube, and
decided on a small pond near our cabin. It's not a big pond by any means and
is overshadowed by the fact that just 100 yards away is one of the
largest impoundments in the state. Yet I have great affinity for this little
pond and this story tells why.
As I zipped up the rain jacket and finished stringing the rod, I felt a
little apprehension about what might be coming. The weather had turned quite
nasty in the past half hour, but it had been hot all day and I knew that dusk
would be the best fishing.
I slid into the warm water thinking of the three beaver dens in the south west
corner of the pond and decided to fish those first. I also planned
to fish with the wind to improve my casting distance. I tied on a black
'sneaky pete' and began to cast to the edges of the first den, rhythmically
stripping back to within 15 feet of my tube.
The turbulent water and slight drizzle made me a little uncomfortable
and doubting my chances, I still stuck to my task. As I neared the second
den I missed a strike. I figured it was tiny bluegills too small to get the
hook, but soon enough found myself tangling with one nice bass after
another as the 'bite was on.'
I was almost in heaven! Nearly every cast drew a strike and when I was patient
enough I actually hooked the fish. Most were scrappy bluegills, but several
were 13 or 14 inch bass. Nothing major, just good fun. I started to get a
little more serious where I cast as the light dwindled. First I wanted
the trophy bass, but mainly because there are a lot of snags and this was my
only black slider. I started to search out rise rings and loud splashes that
seemed were everywhere.
I was caught off guard by a huge splash near the first beaver den, near
the spot where I had started fishing almost an hour before. Slowly (in a tube it
never seems fast enough especially if nature calls,) I paddled my way toward
the den. Casting along the edge of the den, I made my way to the area of the
splash without so much as a missed strike.
I figured things were slowing down as the storm descended upon the pond.
Casting with the help of a strong wind landed the bug in the approximate area.
Just as my slider landed, I heard another loud splash behind me. I turned to
look, thinking maybe I had mistakenly cast to the wrong spot.
My fly was slammed hard and instinctively I set the hook. The
fish took off and I let the line slide through my fingers, this was definitely
one for the reel. I applied some rod pressure as the slack played out and
realized this may be the fish I had dreamt about.
I tried to turn him but it didn't work - the fish dove deeper still. After about ten
minutes of tugging against the rod and my tube, which was pulled into the wind
for a brief period, the fish crashed through the surface, but too far away for
me to make out what it was.
As it finally surrendered to my rods constant pull, I reeled him closer,
as excited as I can remember about any fish. Getting it within
landing range, I got a surprise I hadn't planned on. This wasn't the wall trophy
bass I dreamed of! Quite the contrary, it was a two foot plus Blue Catfish.
I was just a little disappointed at my catch, but soon realized I had just hooked
and landed a very nice catfish on a fly rod, using a surface popper no less. I
decided not only was this a good thing, but one deserving of being the
closer of my day. I clipped off my fly, reeled in and headed for the shore.
This would definitely be one to mull over with the guys over a cold beer.
~ Certified Trout Bum