Monday, July 19, 2010

Taming the Tempest

After the success of my previous trip, I was eager to throw another $5 into the abyss.  The drive to Clifton was sunny, calm and pleasant.  As I dropped my fees into the tube, a bit of a breeze billowed up.  I was disappointed by this new development, but it wasn't the end of the world.  As I drove the mile or two up the dirt road to my favorite new spot, I was horrified to find the trees dancing violently and whitecaps on the lake.  There was no way I would be able to fish from my tube in this.  I was really wishing I'd saved my $5 and stayed home to mow the lawn.  Since I'd already spent the money, I decided to try sticking it out for a bit and wade fishing the trees again.  I caught a couple of smaller bass on the old trusty Slug-Go, and then I hooked what I initially thought was a foot long bass as it tail walked toward me.  Rather quickly I realized that it was a large crappie.  Unfortunately it escaped while I foolishly tried lipping the beast, so no picture.  I fished for bass a bit longer, scoring a few more smaller bass and losing one good sized one.  I had actually brought my ten foot crappie pole with me, so I decided to give it a whirl.  I dabbled my jig amongst the woody vegetation and missed several fish before catching this whirling dervish:

 Shortly after I managed to land a crappie, though a smaller one.

Around this time, the waves were nearly coming over the tops of my waders, even in the forest.  I decided I'd had enough, so I tossed my rod in the car and took off for the river.
When I arrived I found the wind was a lot calmer there.  I stopped at my usual first spot and tossed out a pink X-Rap.  I jerked it violently past some shoreline vegetation and this little bugger shot out and nabbed it.

 I noticed a mat of vegetation and debris at the tail of the run, so I tried drifting a Slug-Go beneath the canopy.  I had several hits before landing this little chunk.

 I caught a few more further up snapping a tube quickly across the bottom, and then the wind hit even worse than it had been in Clifton.  I fought it for a few minutes before giving up for the day.  It was lucky that I did as shortly after leaving the canyon, a wall of rain and hail pummeled my car, forcing me to pull over for about 15 minutes.

Final Tally:  5 Largemouth Bass, 2 Black Crappie, 1 Bluegill, 6 Smallmouth Bass

Year Tally:  350 Fish

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