My Friday adventure on a couple of creeks came at a price. I forgot to mention in that report that I had hiked over a half mile down virtually non-existent animal paths to a starting point on the creek. This requires a fair amount of stumbling over everything in the woods, sliding down embankments and walking hunched over for extended periods of time.
These are all the things my back is not supposed to tolerate well and usually the day after it lets me know that I pushed a bit too far. Throw in the long hike back down a rocky creek, more bushwhacking through woods and I’m setting myself up pretty well for a double dose of prescription Advil.
Saturday morning my back let me know it wasn’t happy. My upper back has got it’s strength back for wearing a wading vest, I no longer get the sharp pain between my shoulder blades, but my lower back is a different issue. I can wade all I want and get my lower half in great shape and my lower back will always be disagreeable. Since there is nothing to be done about it, I’ve learned to live with it. But when I want to go fishing day-after-day I have to follow up a tough day with an easier one.
Luckily I know spots.
With the water level down, wading across the river would be no big deal. This stretch is known for it’s easy wading with no great surprises. It’s not really a numbers stretch for fish unless it’s flooded, but I was willing to settle for fewer fish to protect my back.
Strolling and fishing, a nice easy walk in the water. The numbers didn’t add up, but I was happy to catch a fish.
The next hit was different, hugged the bottom more. Was able to see a decent sized walleye self release a few feet away. Of all the places I know on the Fox, this one stretch produces the most walleye for me. I hear if I come back at night it’s even better, but I’ll settle for them biting mid day on a sunny day.
Not sure if it was the same walleye, but with 10 feet of line out another one came out of a deep spot to hit the lure. Not sure I even reeled in any line, just lifted it out of the water.
The bite was virtually non-existent but it was a nice easy walk down the river. A couple of missed hits by smallies and one more small one landed. In the long slow pool that has a very subtle current break over 100 yards long, I was hoping for more walleye. A sharp tap and heavy run proved otherwise. A smallie of around 19 inches was snacking on little lures.
I’m hesitant to take the camera off my neck while out in the water. I know it’s waterproof, but I also know it sinks. In the low visibility of the Fox, that can be an issue. I don’t like dragging fish to shore and doing all the set up prep work to get a shot of me holding a fish. It’s not that important. So, you get arms length shots of fish or when I do have the courage to take the camera off my neck, shots like this.
I like to think I’m a decent looking old guy, especially when you can’t see the details.
A few casts later another walleye cooperated.
I was taught how to lip a walleye, but I just can’t bring myself to try it. I don’t mind getting bass thumb, but I don’t make a very good pin cushion.
Wound up going 3/2 on the smallies and 2/1 on the walleye, so the fishing was what I expected. It was all pretty easy wading too, even the shore walking was a breeze. A lovely path on the edge of the woods and water.
And yet, later that night I paid for it. The sharp knife in the lower back pain. I don’t like to do pain killers to control this and I won’t do more than prescription Advil, but it was tempting to do more than one this time.
I behaved and only did one. I know my personality. Being addicted to fishing rivers is enough. I don’t think adding drugs into the river fishing addiction is a healthy mix.
Though I did read a story once about mountain streams, elusive trout and peyote that was kind of intriguing.
A post script to Friday’s creek fishing report.
In the creek that had all the suckers moving around, there was one shallow stretch where they were hanging out in a foot of water. This was a wide lift that narrowed down before going over a set of riffles.
The suckers would slide forward and back, to the side and back, but never really moving much. I know they could see me up on the bank of the creek. To make sure they saw me, I was casting right into the middle of them. I wanted to see how they would react to me and the lure. Both were pretty much ignored as they kept sliding around in the current.
Over head a turkey vulture was drifting on the wind. It cut across the sun and it’s shadow fell directly onto the spot where all the suckers were hanging out. The suckers couldn’t scatter fast enough and shot off to other areas in the pool.
Still more proof that humans may not be the top predators in the natural world after all.