My Last Cast

Before I got to my last cast, the day started out innocuous enough.

Went to a spot two miles inland on a creek to see if the smallies had moved that far. Something was spawning, but hard to tell what.


I knew the suckers were on their spawning run, the riffles were loaded with them. Yes, the trained eye will see them.


Other than that, the creek was devoid of life. Frogs singing on the edges, lots of the usual unidentified birds, things turning green, but I can’t recall even seeing a minnow, so I cut things short after an hour and headed for another creek.

My first cast on this creek started where I would eventually make my last cast. The picture at the top of this post shows the spot, more or less. To the right is a plunge pool that drops to around 6 feet. The water moves through here quickly and there is so much oxygen in the water that you can’t see through the water. It’s not all that wide and about 30 to 40 feet long before it quickly slopes up and all pours over a barely ankle deep rock bar.

Like I said, not much to it.

I always try to get a lure to the bottom of the beginning of the plunge pool. I know the fish like all the oxygen and I know big schools of minnows like to roll around in the rush of water. Using only 1/16th ounce jigs, getting something that light down to the bottom of water like this is a challenge. But I can do it.

I started out with two powerful hits from smallies with some weight on them, but they had no interest in staying hooked so I wandered off downstream.

Smallies were in all the usual places and then some and I wound up going 12/10.

That took a couple of hours and then the wind picked up, the temperatures dropped and my sweatshirt was back in the car. Called it quits for the day.

Which brings me back to the beginning, to where I started and my last cast.

I was hoping the smallies had forgot they had been briefly hooked and sank the little lure down to the bottom a few times.

Nothing, so I made my last cast.

Put the following up on Facebook the other day and I can’t think of a better way of describing it…

I am now the proud owner of a custom made two piece medium light fast action rod.

Tied into the heaviest fish I’ve ever had on.

It kept diving down to the bottom of a 6 foot deep plunge pool that has relatively quick water running through it that keeps you from seeing the bottom.

Made a valiant effort to bring it up so I could at least see the damn thing, but it would dog it’s way back down to the bottom.

It was fighting like a big flathead, a really big, heavy flathead.

Then the rod snapped in half.



So, I grabbed the braided line, smart, I know, and tried to hand line it in.



But it almost worked. I almost get the damn thing to a point where I was going to at least get a look at it.

Then the lure snapped off.




11 thoughts on “My Last Cast

    1. Ken G Post author

      Came highly recommended by some guy that spends most of his time fishing with kids…

      That thing is still performing like it’s brand new.

  1. Gramps (Mel)

    Damn, Ken, that is a hard one to swallow…………………..
    As I said earlier in a comment. those Smallies have some shoulders.

    Any type warranty on the rod that is Smallmouth proof?

    1. Ken G Post author

      That was custom made for me and he no longer builds rods Mel. I’m not even sure where he is, I think he got busy with life.

      Another rod building friend says he can turn it into a two piece for me since it’s a nice clean break. I’m sure the action will change a bit, but would be nice to bring it back to life. That rod and me have been through a lot together, even protected me from goose attacks.

    1. Ken G

      This was actually a slow day Mike and a very short stretch they’ve come into. Gets much better by then and we’ll have plenty of options.

  2. Jim McClellan

    If you fished with the same half-assed equipment I use, you’d learn to expect that!! Plus, I’ve broken more than I care to admit with the tailgate of my truck. Beautiful shots and I’m glad you got some action in before the rod gave out.

    1. Ken G Post author

      When first starting fishing I went through quite a few cheap rods Jim. Friends taught me to buy the good stuff and I have a couple of rods going on 15 years. One gave up 6 inches to a car door, but other than that, still catching fish. I’m glad it didn’t happen at the start, I only had fly rods left in the car and no real interest in using them.

  3. Howard Levett

    Let the guy fix the rod Ken. It will probably be no worse for wear. If it doesn’t turn out nice you still use it to protect yourself against those goose attacks.

    1. Ken G Post author

      My friend Ed Schmitt does an excellent job Howard. The break is so clean, It looks like at most I’ll lose an 1/8th of an inch, unless he puts the ferrules right over the break.

      I think I’m going to start carrying a machete for the geese. No point in screwing up perfectly good rods any more.

  4. JustinCarf

    Ouch! It’s too bad you couldn’t even get a glimpse of that fish. Ed does outstanding work. He’s built 2 of my fly rods, my 3 and 10 wt. On the bright side, at least the rod was not a total loss. I’ve been itching to fish the creeks, and might head out sometime this weekend.

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