I had a few hours to get out on Sunday, so I thought I'd take my newish 5wt to a local park (more on this place in a future post) and spend the time catching some bluegill. The park isn't very productive, but there are a few holes that are reliable for panfish, with the occasional smallmouth thrown in, too. The real benefit to the place is that it's a very short drive, and there's a paved trail that runs next to the river for over a mile.
I got into the spot that I expected to be most productive -- actually the only spot on the river I'm truly optimistic about. I make a few casts, and the sky darkens, the wind picks up, and I hear thunder. "It's trucks on the highway," I tell myself. I try to convince myself, but I'm not buying it. The problem is that I'm heading off on a wade that has little in the way of extrication options, and if a storm's coming, I don't want to get caught in waist-high water far from an access point.
I climb out, and check out the sky one last time to convince myself, it's really, truly, a storm coming. I start walking back to the car. After about half a mile. The sun comes out, the wind dies down, and the thunder stops.
At this point, I have to choose between re-tracing my steps or just jumping in the river at the next good spot. Given that I'm only out for a relaxing day, I don't bother re-tracing my steps. Which means, of course, that I only manage to catch one bluegill all day. And fall directly onto my knees on some rocks.
I also manage to somehow foul up my dropper rig, leading me just to nip off one fly and stick with Bully's Bluegill Spider (more on this in a later post, too). At one point, I can't lift my line off the water to cast. Puzzled, I discover I've hooked a long length of monofilament. In my effort to pull it in, I discovered one end is tied to a beer bottle. I leave it. I usually pack out other people's trash, but I'm not sure what I can do with 30 feet of mono and a beer bottle, and I'm also not entirely convinced it isn't some sort of bait trap or something (and I have no idea how far the line extends in the other direction.
I'm about to head to the car, and I decide to take a few casts right by the parking lot. It looks like a bit of a dud, but sometimes you catch fish that other people pass up because they're too obvious. Nothing at all.
The high point of the day: some swimmers just down from this final spot call to me and point out some deer crossing the river upstream from me. They're both big, and the one in front is a buck with an impressive rack, probably 8 or 10 points (it's just a little too far to count).
I head back to the car. I run into a guy with a canoe, and it turns out he's a fly angler, too, and I enjoy our conversation. He recommends a new spot for me to try (actually, parking for a spot I'd been meaning to try), and I figure I'll hit it soon.
So, all in all, a pretty stupid day, but I still had fun.