Last Wednesday (02/08) I got a text from Mike Danagher to see if I was free to do a little fishing for a couple of hours after work. As a matter a fact I was, so I met him at his house, and we dropped his Hell’s Bay in at the SR.50 boat launch to see if we could find shad. With the gage at 3.4 ft, most of the run upstream was still fine, but we did find one turn near Paw Paw mound that required polling the boat to traverse. I think when the water drops another six inches (close to where we are at this week,) even the skinny running skiffs are going to find it slow going, and maybe only under trolling or polling power in some places. In other words, we could use some rain.
Mike and I found a run with nice current, terns diving, and shad actively eating up top. Mike locked the trolling motor anchor in place right outside of the current and we began making downstream casts. The fish did not want the fly stripped as aggressively as the Saturday before at 7 Palms but were still plentiful and willing to play. Instead, they were taking it at the end of the swing, or hanging straight downstream, with a bit of “give and take” action. What I mean by give and take is, making a 1-2 foot, moderate speed strip, and then letting the current pull the line back through your guides on the rod, so the fly comes up some in the water column slowly and then dives back down. You are never really stripping the fly back to you but repeating that action several times until you get a bite, or you see activity in a different position that warrants a re-cast.
We fished for a couple of hours, continuing upstream to two more spots I frequent, and I got to show Mike why I don’t recommend that people drop kayaks south of 50. Take a look at the video!
I think we both caught right under double digits a piece, and I know I missed at least that many. That is a solid couple of hours on the water in my book! We decided to call it a day close to sunset and on the way back to the launch, we saw a yellow Piper Cub land in the pasture (joining one that had already landed) just downstream of Paw Paw. You never know what you are going to see down south of 50. Pretty Cool!
Thanks again Mike for the invitation. I look forward to doing it again sometime soon!