A Good Ole Fashion Fishing Story>>
Every once and a while we all need to take a break from the information overload the internet provides.
Usually I post articles that relate helpful information to fly fisherman and fly tiers alike. For this article however I'm going to take a break from the normal informative writing and tell you the first of what I hope to be many truly amazing fishing stories in my life.
This story comes from my recent trip to Northern Minnesota to fish a portage lake, named Mukooda Lake, and located about a hundred yards off Crane Lake, the main body of water in the area. Due to an invasive species that calls Crane Lake home, Mukooda is restricted to boats that were on the water before the introduction of said species. This makes the lake reserved to very few boats which can be rented through a couple of resorts in the area.
For this particular trip we rented one of only three commercially owned boats on the lake for three days. Each day we spent about an hour hulling in an out rods, gear, and the motor over a 100 yard secluded portage trail. We spent nearly every hour of daylight on the water hunting massive smallmouth along rocky banks and on grassy flats.
The first day was tough for me. I spent the majority of my day slogging along with a curly tail wooly bugger having minimal success while my parents and our fishing partner, Art, landed several nice smallmouth on their spinning rods. The weather was hot and the fish were deep and I was unable to reach them with my flies consistently and when I did it was too difficult for me to feel a strike and I lost several fish after having them hooked for a few seconds. But I was not deterred and continued to chuck and duck throughout the majority of the day.
Around two in the afternoon I laid a gorgeous cast up underneath a tree that was leaning out over the water. I retrieved the fly at a medium, jerky pace and had a huge smallmouth follow me out and hit me within six feet of the boat. I panicked for a half second, I honestly expected nothing more then what I had been getting the majority of the day and that was nothing, and as I set the hook he had already spit the fly out. My stomach sunk two foot and I'd felt that I’d missed my opportunity. I fished the rest of the day to no avail and ended the day depressed at my lack of success.
A strong night of sleep and healthy breakfast had me reinvigorated for the next day of fishing. Reluctantly I put the fly rod down during the heat of the day when the bass were deep and picked up my spinning rod if anything else just to feel a fish or two on the end of my line. As the sun began to set on the water for the second day of fishing I picked my fly rod back up and tied on a classic VIP Popper, hoping for some shallow water fun. After cruising down one of our most successful banks we once again came to the tree I had missed the fish at the previous day and once again I shot a beautiful cast up underneath its outstretched limbs. After three stern pops the same smallmouth came out and slurped in my 1/0 popper, I set the hook successfully this time but two jumps later my popper was once again floating on the water, fishless. This fish left a sour taste in my mouth for a second time, but also a feeling of hope.
I awoke the next morning intending to do the same thing as the day before and it was six thirty before my fly rod even saw the light of day as we once again approached that same bank. I tied on the same popper as the day before. I felt renewed confidence in my techniques and within five casts I managed a couple of nice smallies a few small largemouth bass, and I had missed one sixteen plus incher that once again hit me within feet of the boat. For the last time, we approached the very tree I knew harbored a solid bass, I cast once, then twice, then a third time with no success. I laid my fourth cast within inches of the base of the tree and before I could give it a pop she rose out of the flooded grass and hammered it. I set the hook and the battle was on, my dad put the boat into reverse immediately and pulled us to deeper water where I fought him on a six weight rod for close to ten minutes before sliding him into the net. I let out a shout of triumph and relief overcame my body. She measured out to be a massive eighteen and a half inches, we snapped a few pictures and handled her back into the water as the sun set on our last day of the trip, and a truly story book ending.