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It’s been a while since I’ve got out and waded a local creek with the fly rod, so I did just that this past Saturday.  Ever the explorer, I hit a stretch of creek I’ve never fished.  In fact I’ve never really thought much about fishing this stretch until they recently opened a park along it.  I didn’t think it would be much different than other stretches of the creek I’ve fished or some of the creeks I’ve fished in the past but I was wrong.  This one was much tougher.

Most of the creeks I wade around here have big sandy spoil banks and shallow riffles that connect them, making wading a breeze.  Quicksand is about the only thing that can slow you down.  In fact, unless you get hung up structure or a tree on the other side you rarely have to wade deeper than your knees.  This one wasn’t like that.

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The hike in was fairly muddy and full of these guys.  Most you could avoid, but some had their webs a bit too low for comfort, so careful tip-toeing was required to negotiate around them.  I know they’re harmless, but they’re still a big spider.

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Then I cut through the woods, navigated my way through briers and poison ivy (I made a poor decision that morning and chose shorts instead of pants), then amble down a 20-30 foot muddy bluff face just to access the water.

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I caught a fish and took a picture just in case it was the only one I caught on the day.  Usually the wading part is no big deal once I get to the water.  Not here though, the bottom wasn’t as hard as the others, the water clarity wasn’t as pretty as the others and it had spots that seemed deeper than the others and soon enough I stepped off a mud ledge into a hole up to my chest.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that, glad it was super hot out.

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The wading wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the multiple downed trees that forced me to go up and down the bluffs just to get around them. Eventually though the wading got easier and of course the fishing picked up.

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Then it became a longear-fest.  If it wasn’t for the early bream and the world’s smallest bass that’s all I would have caught.  They were very aggressive, in full spawning regalia.

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I probably only covered 3/4 of a mile in five hours and didn’t catch anything bigger than my palm.  Scouting trips can be like that though, you really don’t know until you go.  Well now I know and I don’t think I’ll be going back.

Still beat sitting at home though.  Fishing trips always do.

Putting together a presentation last Monday for the Red Stick Fly Fishers on fly fishing Florida parish streams inspired me to wake up early and head to a creek this past Saturday in hopes of coaxing a few spotted bass to the fly. It was my first time wet wading a creek this year and with temps around 60 degrees at daybreak it made for a chilly start. I had to wear gravel guards which may be a first for me here in Louisiana. Despite that chilly start it turned into a beautiful day, made even more beautiful by not seeing another soul throughout the day.

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Temps eventually made it around 80 degrees, which is about the time the fishing would heat up. With temps that hot you can can bet Mr. No Shoulders was out as well, I saw/heard several plop into the water during the wade. I spent all morning hitting normally productive spots with a popper but I had nothing to show for it until around lunch time. I switched to a streamer fly that Blake had tied up and finally caught my first spot.

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For awhile there I was worried I was gonna go home with the skunk, but I was finally able to shake it off with that little spot. With my interest in catching fish renewed I pressed on. In fact I waded further on this creek than I ever have and the fishing was seemingly better the further I got from the bridge (which tends to hold true on every creek I’ve been on). I caught another little spot, but the real kick in the pants were the two that I missed. They would have been quality fish for such a small creek. It was that kind of day though. A day when the phrase, “that’s why they call it fishing, and not catching” was never truer. Poor fishing aside, the scenery was nothing short of spectacular and that’s why it really didn’t matter what was caught at the end of the day, because I enjoyed spending a morning walking a creek and taking it all in.

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