Saturday morning, I decided to treat myself to my own Father’s Day gift. A busy week of band camp had left me itching to get on the water. I decided to let my body clock wake me up in the morning and I would fish my neighborhood lake. My body clock usually wakes me up around 5:15 and this morning was no different. I grabbed a quick cup of coffee two fly rods and I was out the door carting my kayak down the road two blocks to my put in point.
It’s a rare treat when anyone of us mortals gets to truly experience what I call “God’s Splendor.” Those of us who are sportsmen and enjoy the outdoors get to see His splendor in the beauty of a sunrise, the sounds of a soft breeze through pine trees, the song of feeding gulls, or the “sploosh” of fish as it rises and attacks a popper. I get to see what God can do with a paintbrush and I can’t pass up an opportunity to get out and see what new masterpiece awaits me on God’s canvass of life.
This morning’s short walk to my put in point began as interestingly as it ended. In the low light of the dawn I saw an owl wing overhead with its breakfast grasped firmly in its sharp talons. A small squirrel had succumbed to one of the great hunters of our suburban community. I thought about getting a picture but it was too dark and I knew that it would be a waste of my time. I continued down the path to the lake and was greeted to a film of duckweed and brown foam on the water where I put in. I actually delight in those conditions because I know that shad feed on the foam and bass…well, if you’re reading this blog. You know that bass love shad.
By 6 AM, I had landed three bass and had missed a couple more.
The morning was shaping up to be a nice one at that. My recent trips to that lake this summer have been somewhat disappointing. The bass fishing has been slow and those that I have caught have been on the small side. The bull bream has been good and I usually can catch a nice mess of fillet-sized bream for the fryer. After about 6:15, the bass action had stopped and the only action I was getting was from bream trying to eat my bass popper. I decided I was going to have fun so I downsized my popper and played catch-and-release with a dozen or so nice bream.
Wouldn’t you know that while fishing for bream with some of the smallest poppers I tied, I hooked the largest bass I’ve caught of the season?
Check out just how tiny that popper is.
Remember I said that this morning’s trip began and as interestingly as it ended? Well, I was putting the finishing touches on a splendid morning of fishing, when I enticed another medium-sized bream to eat my popper. As I was bringing the fish in, a HUGE bass tried to eat the bream. I’m looking at my personal best right now, an eight-pound bass caught several years ago, which is mounted on my wall in my office. Today’s fish was almost as big as the one I have on my wall! Well, I remembered a bream being attacked by a bass once before in this lake so I let the bream run a little bit more. A couple of seconds later, my rod bent nearly in half as the bass had eaten my bream. I’m sure I didn’t have that bass on for more than 10 seconds but it seemed like triple that. The bass took off to the bottom first and then came up to see what was playing tug-o-war with its breakfast. When the bass saw my kayak and me, it opened its mouth, shook violently, and the bream came flying out. The bream then worked its way off the hook so both fish were released unharmed. Needless to say, I laughed out loud like a child! I love fly-fishing! In no other fishing do I find myself laughing out loud like I was a kid again. Thank you God for this morning’s special Father’s Day Gift! Now I don’t know whether to keep fishing tiny flies or start tying gigantic flies!