Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that my outdoor adventures are routinely focused on stacking the deck against my favor as ridiculously as possible. As such, I bring you:
"Fly fishing for bass in an urban lake, from a kayak, in 95 degree heat."
My friend Mike and I decided to meet up after work and give it a go, so once I got Hank home and fed, my wife generously took over and I putted down to the lake about 3 miles from our house. Now that Baltimore County, not City, maintains the lake, long gone are the junkies, the poachers, the thieves, the homeless camps (and their shoreline piles of waste, toilet paper, and coke bottles), and the dogs running wild all over the wooded shoreline. Instead, they now have actual regulations and actual, real, armed park rangers. The first thing I heard when I got out of the truck by the ramp (several paddlers getting in the water) was from the ranger, "OKAY SUNSET IS 8:19 THAT MEANS I WANT BOATS OUT OF THE WATER AT 8:19!"
My head wasn't quite together and with 95 degree air, I knew we needed to get into the shade. Mike started working on a sunken log under some high canopy trees, but I went right for the overhanging brush - absolutely the best way to catch bass in this lake. Mike was fishing poppers and I was fishing hoppers. There has to be a joke in there, but I can't find it. I wrapped so much tippet around so many branches, it wasn't even funny. In fact, it was infuriating. I was sweating like crazy, and not fishing. I finally yelled out some obscenities and paddled diagonally across the lake to where I caught this guy a few months ago. A few days prior, when I was out here with Hank (I call this Spot #1), I saw several decent bass waiting in the shallows for a buggy meal to fall from above.
No dice. Didn't see a fish. Didn't get a bite. DID catch this. I think Redington will be psyched about the product placement. No?
Mike gave up on his spot as well, and we paddled over to the east cliffs, where I've caught bass before, in a kayak, no less. We worked that shoreline and some heavy, heavy cover, with several blow-ups and near misses but not a single connection. Just north of the cliffs are an amazing set of lay-downs, from oak to pine and everything inbetween. Great structure. No fish today.
The sky started rumbling, as it's been doing quite a bit this summer, and as we've learned, there's a fine line between "Oh, it's storming downtown" and "OH MY GOD 8 MILLION PEOPLE JUST LOST POWER," so we casually headed in. I finally got the boat out around 8:25pm, and the ranger was a-circlin'. She was super friendly, though and mostly wanted us to get out of there so she could lock up and be done with it.
I was a bit disappointed to not catch fish - it's only happened 3 or 4 of the 30-ish times I've been out this year. But it was a good workout, and it sure beat not fishing.