Three hundred yards upstream from where a spring branch enters the river, it widens into a pool with a large, slow eddy. Recent cold weather convinced me that smallmouth bass had likely migrated from the frigid river into the spring. If that were the case, their metabolisms would be quickened by the 54-degree spring water, prompting them to become active feeders. My 5-wt. rod delivered a slow-sinking intermediate line, a short length of 3X tippet, and a size 8 Ozark Woolly Bugger to the fast water seam. This enabled the fly to settle as it was swept outside the eddy. I repositioned twenty casts and one missed strike later so casts could be delivered to the slowest portion of the swirling pool. A line tug immediately answered a lift, drop, strip retrieve, and a strip-set of the hook revealed a strong fish. It immediately headed into the deepest portion of the pool with the most substantial current. That allowed a short but impressive run curtailed by palming the reel spool, and finally, the fish came to hand. I was surprised to discover that I had landed a Rock Bass. Ten more were captured from the big eddy before the action ceased as suddenly as it had begun.
Haven’t Seen These For A While
by Terry Wilson | Feb 2, 2023 | 2 comments
I grew up in north missouri. Grew up catching bluegills in farm ponds. The ozarks were some far off exotic land. I had no idea that they were just a 3-4 hour drive south. I still chance those bluegills. The ozarks are now jsut a two hour drive southeast, but after all these decades, It still remains, that l have never fished an ozark stream for the states running water version of a bluegill.
Stuart, Like many, bluegill are the first fish I caught as a youngster, and they are still my favorites. I find them in the Ozarks in the slowest sections of streams, but I also enjoy fishing farm ponds. Thank you for your good comments. I hope you have a great fishing season. Terry Wilson