As Dad has informed you (See last blog post), our expeditions don’t flow as smoothly as many rivers do. We run into mischievous critters, forgetful minds, slow currents, tough times, and bad weather. For the past two weeks, the Riverbums have been burdened with work responsibilities, paid conferences, thunderstorms, and Saturdays spent doing taxes…we shiver at the thought. CAUTION: Separation from the river may cause: Anxiety, daydreaming, chest pains, fatigue, dryness, size distortion, depression and then death. Avoid work and responsibilities at all costs. Treatment: FISH!
Well my friends, that’s just what we did. After a 2 week hiatus, the Riverbums found themselves in their favorite river for a whole weekend. And did we deserve it or what! After all, nothing like a well deserved reward after a ill-defying delay of riverbumming.
Clear skies, strong casts, and feisty smallmouth made this Saturday, one to remember. We left home at 3:30 in the morning and made our favorite habitual road trip to the ********** river (Sorry, hafta kill ya) The smallies started hitting at 10 am sharp as Dad reeled in a decent 2 pounder on a yellow twisty tail. With an early temperature of 65 degrees, we were worried the water would be too cool for smallies today. An indication of fall coming with cool mid-August temperatures. However, smallies can bear cooler water temperatures better than largemouth bass. The trick to catching smallies in cooler river water is to cast that lure in the “perfect spot”. When the water is cooler, the smallies tend to stick closer to their hiding spots…under a lingering log, below a large boulder, inside the weeds. Therefore, they are less likely to come out after their food as they are too cold to chase it. So, we must cast right on top of them and force them to hit the lure immediately. But, that was just what made today even better, with perfect casts resulting in perfect hits.
AC with a nice smallie in the river tributary
(Perfect picture pose-may we add)
Dad with a fiesty smallie
(Notice the cigar…fish cannot be caught until Dad lights a cigar!) 🙂
AC’s catch from the exact boulder seen behind her
(Smallie was hiding in the shaded area below the boulder-Gotcha!)
Dad with a smallie hit on torpedo lure
AC’s last smallie of the day was a lunker
(Always good to end on a FAT note!) AC says we never catch them here
Dad casting an exciting pool with 7 smallies
The photo seen above is a perfect example of a successful day of Riverbumming. We would trek from pool to pool, stopping to fish an area until the hitting ceased. Large boulders, like the one seen above, give us the opportunity to see spots more easily from up high to notice where there are logs, weeds, and hidden boulders. This particular pool was quite the jackpot as the smallies were hitting both top water and twisty tail lures. AC was reeling the lunkers in from deep in the pools with twistys as Dad was snatching the feisty ones on top with torpedoes. All in all, this pool produced 7 smallies.
An onlookers view of a focused RiverBum
Dad displaying the double catch!
Every once and a while, the Riverbums display expert reeling and showmanship. Now, you may be thinking, “How can these Bums be experts?” Yes, we don’t have a fisherman’s show on the Outdoor Channel… YET and we aren’t trademarked…YET and we don’t have a blog that displays our fantastic catches and facts and… wait, we DO have that! But, as evidence of the picture above, there is that rare instance where AC and Dad catch smallies simultaneously, side-by-side, lines cross, fish entangle and a double catch is produced. It is a moment only really truly experienced, by seeing it first hand. Imagine both bums cast in opposite directions, both lines tightens, and both rods bend at the same time… pure fishing perfection… in double the dose! Yes my friends the Riverbums have a pair of fish, a dualistic dual, twofold fins, two of a kin, spitting image spitters, copy catfish, simulacrum chum, Gemini net-full, binary bait … quick someone stop me from punning before I double over!
Whew, that was close. So at the end of the day, we found ourselves 45 smallies richer and 100% happier than we had been in weeks. 4 pm rolled around and we realized we had trekked a good couple miles and still had to head back… UP river! After making it to the car, we de-waded, stripped off our boots and headed out in search of lodging.
After settling into our hotel, we caught the Saturday evening mass at the local church, thanked God for our humble abode of smallies and good casts, and went to the best restaurant in town… The Refuge…
Guess what we ate for dinner?
RiverBums. Please be courteous and remember that there are bums out there who wake up at the crack of dawn to fish and they would appreciate a hot cup of joe. That brings us to the next order of business, Thank you to the Mobile Gas Station for providing 24 hours of service and hot coffee at any time of the morning. We appreciate your coffee serving skills and hope to visit you soon.
Dad’s first smallie of the day
(Caught on top water-this one sucked the lure down and zig-zagged
under and around a log-great fight!)
AC’s color coordinated Riverbumming ensemble
(She did not plan this- thats just how good she is!)
Dad doing the RiverBum Squat Pose – Pure Skill!
“And next… on the balancing boulder..The amazing RiverBum!”
Sunday turned out to be just as beautiful and bountiful as Saturday. We tried a new part of the river that had a terrain that gave us a run for our waders. We first encountered rapids, which took us a while to navigate through. Rapids can be treacherous to our equipment. Wear and tear against boulders can create long-term damage to our waders and boots. Therefore it is important to have high-polarized sunglasses that allow you to see easier in the water. However, the river was very clear and lower than usual, so it was easier for us to see where we were going. Placement of our boots is very important as sometimes the River plays tricks on us. Muck can easily be mistaken for sand. As we say on the river, “One step in muck and you’re Fu…” Well you get the idea! But in between the rapids, there were areas of “flats,” with boulders and deep pools. These areas provide good fishing and smallie habitat. Many of the rapids were too difficult to wade and that’s when we take to Bush Wacking (See Bush Wacking in the RiverBum dictionary)
Bush Wacking : Bu·sh Wa·ck·ing ( B-ü-sh, Wá-ck-ing)
1. The act of walking through the woods.
2. A means of alternate navigation with an existence of unnavigable rapids.
*3. Being dragged through the woods by one’s crazy father whilst being eaten alive by bugs and bears.
However, Bush Wacking can be fun. We sometimes encounter strange artifacts that would not be otherwise seen on the river…. like this…
Fonzie called, he wants his canoe back
Unfortunately, we encountered many rafters on this particular day and it seems to destroy our illusion of fantasy that we are alone in this river. We come upon pieces of trash, sandals, and beer cans left over from rafting rascals that don’t understand the concept of “Pack in, Pack out.” Here is proof that we aren’t alone in the river…
Evidence of a Drowned Rafter…Justice Prevails
But our favorite encounters, are those of the creepy crawling kind… like this guy…
AC’s curious snapping turtle… who wants to lose a finger?
Of course, this week’s entry couldn’t end with a picture of a tiny turtle. No, my friends, that’s why we will end this week with a photo of the largest smallie caught this weekend. The lunker award goes to AC for landing this guy 25 yards away, on torpedo with a perfect cast that ricocheted off a rock and landed into the mouth of this week’s best fish… You go RiverBum Bitch!
And to end the day: AC’s 6 lb. Smallie! That’s all folks, Drive home safe!
Until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…
AC & Dad