Monday, October 17, 2011

Big rain, little fish at Prettyboy Reservoir

A whole day off.  That rarest of birds.  It had rained - really rained - the entire day before, so I really wasn't motivated to bow hunt in even more rain.  So the decision to go fishing was pretty easy.  But alas, marred by setbacks.

I woke up at 4:30am unable to breathe - tonsillitis.  I started the day - the big day off - by dropping off Hank at day care and then going to  the doctor, only to have them tell me, "Take ibuprofen, it's viral.  Bye." Then I needed some coffee.  And then it was time to go fishing.

The last seven weeks of nearly constant rain has provided an interesting, if lackluster, display of fall colors here in the Mid-Atlantic.  A lot of leaves are falling off, still green.  But there's been an impressive array of oranges and yellows that we don't typically get to see, other than in shrub species like shadbush, witchhazel, and spicebush.   Despite the fall colors, I could hear the treetops moving, which I suspected might mean that more rain was on the way.  I was right.

The springs were running pretty hard, and the water was green but cloudy (it's often green and clear here.  I had come here because my first visit to this spot turned out to be a great one, and I thought I could replicate the results.  I changed lures more in the first 20 minutes than I often do in an entire day, looking for just one big fish to chase a lure to shore, or at least short strike it near the surface.  Nothing.  I scaled back the size of my lures and that's when they appeared.  The green sunfish. 

Having recently been anointed "The Greenie Whisperer" by one of my buddies, I wasn't really excited to see them here, at a spot I believed was strongly dominated by bluegill and largemouth.  Oh well.  Of course, the greenies move in when water quality and habitat conditions deterioriate, but that left me asking, "Where are the bigger fish, then?'  I sized back up to bigger lures but the greenies kept biting.  Just great.  And then the serious rain started.

I hiked around a new section of the watershed property, knowing that I wouldn't be catching any big fish today.  It was a bit of a letdown - but it's October, and these things happen. Fall is really here.  When it's not raining, it's absolutely beautiful outside.  And it's time to go hunting.

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