First things first: I apologize to my legions of loyal fans out there for not updating the blog a little more this summer. I haven't had a lot to write about. The hot, dry weather has limited my fishing options and I've been spending a ton of time out at the little spring creek in the Valley. Aside from one marathon day out at the tailwater section of the Jackson River, I haven't fished anywhere else in about 2 months. Summer in VA can be like that and report after report about fishing in the same spot would get a little monotonous - just like the fishing.
Last year, I escaped the boredom of fishing the same stretch of the same little creek simply because there were plenty of BIG fish to keep me occupied. This year, it's been a little different. There's been lots of Japanese beetles, grasshoppers, ants and crickets out there for the fish to feed on, but the big boys from last year have been curiously absent. An occasional big fish will make an appearance but, sadly, it's been a far cry from the action of last year.
There has been one nice fish this summer that has been consistently active, showing himself almost every time I've made the trip. The problem is that his lie is on the other side of the creek under a bunch of low hanging branches, and it's almost impossible to get a drift over him. You can see him over there eating bugs and it's probably the most frustrating thing in the world to see a good fish within 25 feet of you and not be able to at least put a cast on him. I've tried for him on 5 or 6 different occasions and come up empty.
The fish was in his spot again on Sunday and I could plainly see him as I planned my presentation. My first cast was short, so I lengthened the line and shot another cast in his direction - right into the branches above him. The fish noticed the disturbance, tipped up and eyed my little foam beetle hanging from the leaves. I gave the line a little twitch and, by some miracle, the leader and fly came free. My beetle landed a little behind the fish but he swam over and ate it with the confidence of a fish who has eaten hundreds of bugs falling out of that tree.
It feels good to finally get a fish that has outsmarted me so many times - even if I did have to get lucky to do it.