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> > When switching gears leads to renewed success

Jmd123 has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
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Nice fat Cooke Pond smallie
Nice fat Cooke Pond smallie
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Sunset over Cooke Pond
Sunset over Cooke Pond
Jmd123June 26th, 2014, 11:44 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2369
As some of you on here may know, my trout season has been so far quite unspectacular. Admittedly, I haven't been on the waters as much as I normally do in spring, at least in part because of allergies I have never experienced before. The pollen really clobbered me this year and I had to switch from my beloved Allegra to Claritin on my doctor's advice as I had become too used to the former...anyway, last night I finally had a nice one on at [REDACTED] Pond, a brightly colored brookie in the foot-long range, but he got off under the kayak...at least larger fish are now willing to strike my flies, even if I still didn't get the net under them...

So, tonight I switched gears and went after smallmouth on Cooke Pond. Three years ago I found nice sized fish, in the 14- to 18-inch range, taking dry flies off the top, including Light Cahills, caddis, and Hex. This evening I didn't see any hatching activity early on (got there at 7, on the water by about 7:20 p.m.), yet there were some big swirls out in the middle of the channel I was fishing (at this point it is more like a river than a lake, there is appreciable current). Well, sure looks like feeding smallies to me! I tried a silver/gray KBF and an all-black eyed Woolly Bugger (both in size 10) but nothing paid attention to them. Pretty soon I had rises all around me, including a couple behind me between me and the shore of a small island. OK, easy targets, but what fly to throw at them? Seeing nothing on the water, I decided to go BIG. I pulled out my "big fly" box with all size 6 dry flies, including Hex, Brown Drakes, Green Drakes, and some big bushy attractors like Wulffs. First I dropped a White Wulff on one fish, and he boiled on it but did not take it down. "You son-of-a-bitch!" I said out loud. What's next? A huge bushy Royal Wulff - ah, he can't resist this one! And no he couldn't, sucked it down and then took off like a bulldog, bending the rod almost double. Oh yeah, he's a nice one, in fact 18 inches! And broad shoulders too, all the better to fight with in the current. My only other fish of the evening was a 5" bluegill, but I sure as heck didn't care! This is the biggest smallmouth I have caught in three years, and the last one of this size that I caught came out of here. Oh and by the way, this was again on the 7.5' three-weight, took the five-weight out in the boat but never needed it, did my damage with the light stick and man was it fun! I was also able to bring the fish in quickly enough that it revived within about 30 seconds and wanted nothing more of me, ever...

I may have left too early though, as I began to see some big mayflies on the wing in the sunset, and this place does get a good hex hatch, might have even been a few early ones I saw. But I also managed to get out before the major dusk mosquito attack, didn't have to juice all up with DEET. But I will soon, I have heard that there are walleye in there that will take Hex (according to a buddy of mine) and if I get one of them it isn't going back in the water...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnJune 27th, 2014, 8:20 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Looks like a very pleasant evening there, Jonathon!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123June 27th, 2014, 10:37 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2369
Brings back memories of a night not too long ago that you and I shared on the Huron River...remember, "Oh my God Spence, he's huge!!" I do have to say that having finally broken the 18" barrier on brown trout last year, this fish easily outfought that one - probably because this one is so damned fat! I will be back to this spot very soon, and it's been too long since I've done this.

You gotta love smallmouth bass man - they fight like hell and take dry flies just like trout!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfJune 28th, 2014, 11:31 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2903
Pretty fish; good work, Jonathon!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
RMlytleJuly 4th, 2014, 5:30 pm
Connecticut

Posts: 40
Gotta love smallmouth. I love to hit a nearby river when the Brown Drakes are on, The bronze backs key on them and go nuts! The action lasts until Midnight.

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