As fall approaches, the Riverbums begin to feel the cool water against their waders, the mosquitoes diminish, and their allergies peak. And with double doses of claritin comes the double doses of casting. We took a note from Donna Summer and ‘worked hard for the smallies…so hard for them…so hard for the smallies…so you better treat em right…’
Oh and did we treat em right. We treated those smallies to a dinner and a show. Yes my friends, the main coarse consisted of rapacious steel coated treble hooks dangling from a traditional torpedo delicacy. And for the show… ‘Ladies and gentlemen, back again for the 4th time in their summer long sold-out tour…please welcome, a couple of casting outcasts, a pair of plugs, the best deuce of downstream drifters, the cast RiverBums!!!’
Ok so as much as we would like, the river isn’t as glamorous as we might tale about. But, we did put on a show of excellent casting and lure maneuvering. So despite the less amount of smallies and increase in casts made, we now have bigger biceps and one hell of an impressive casting chronicle of smallie success…
One of many Rapid Sets in the River
With clarion clear waters and blue skies, it was easy for us to shuffle through the rapids. This was our second time in this particular part of the *********** river (Sorry, hafta kill ya) in a good 4 years. We quickly came to realize why we had only inhabited that part once before and never returned. Of course, the mind of a RiverBum is so advanced and endowed, that it doesn’t surprise how much information may slip us from time to time. Now you wonder why we leave the rest of the world to work and support the US economy while we fish away our days here on Earth. We had to give the rest of humanity a chance of course…
But, despite our judicious ways, we didn’t catch one smallie until hours after bumming this beautiful yet barren area of the river. Out-fished, out-rafted, and out of luck we headed back up river after 3 hours and 2 smallies. After reaching the banks, we stowed the rods in the trunk and hopped in the car, sopping waders and all. It was a 15 minute drive to the next spot on the map…
*A quick note about our maps: There are many access points for fishermen along this river and we wouldn’t be able to experience them all without the 2004 edition DeLORME Atlas and Gazetteer of Wisconsin. We have been too cheap and busy to pick up the latest edition, but trust us, not many roads are being constructed in the outbacks of good ole Wisconsin. So I thin we are good for the next decade or so.
AC’s first catch of the day!
(Caught up in the line after a high-strung rapids clash)
Dad’s first catch of the day!
(Lookin all Gangsta Bum with the hat on backwards)
Grabbing the rods from the trunk and trekking to a familiar spot on our river gave us hope for bigger smallies. The last time we had visited this popular spot of ours was in early July and the water was high and cloudy. This time around, with a DNR reported water level of 7.64 and a clear view of the bottom, we were hoping to spank them on top water. Although many of the usual pools were shallower than usual, we still found smallies hiding down under. However, we did find luck in the weeds, where structure below the water (like a shelf) would meet the weed line. Smallies like the one below were masters of this weedy domain…
Nice Smallie hiding in the weeds behind AC
And the topwater begins!
(Dad with a Smallie caught on yellow/green torpedo)
Of course, once the top water began, it was all fun casting from there. We retired our twisty tails and jigs and worked the plastic torpedoes. As we crossed a flats area, Dad and AC picked up the pace as they had usually never caught anything here. However, as Dad trekked on, AC felt like a challenge and waded to the center of the river. Casting across to the other side, she saw a fallen tree trunk that provided ample structure and harboring for the smallies. So with a healthy cast, AC whipped the torpedo upriver towards the base of the fallen tree. Then she allowed the lure to drift down river, alongside and just an inch from the tree, making sure not to get hooked along the wood. Maintaining form, she jerked the rod every 3 seconds as the torpedo drifted along as to seduce the smallie into hitting. As the lure past the tip of the tree, AC felt a tiny hit. Thinking this was a minnow with a set of eyes bigger than it’s stomach, she began to reel. But then another hit came as the lure was making it’s way along the flats. So AC stopped reeling and let the torpedo sit. Then like a seen out of jaws, with only the sounds of the rapids, AC made a quick jerk and the lunker smallie hit in a split second. He took the lure down and raced back towards the tree. But it was too late for that, her rod bent as she set the hook and AC reeled in the lunker…
AC with the prize of the day!
(A great cast, goes a long way! Notice the fallen tree in the background…)
As RiverBumssmallies waiting for top water, but if you trek too far into the pool, you’ll slip on the shelf and fall on your ASS. So, it was only fair that we name this hot spot “Crazy-Ass Pool.” And on this particular day, Dad was master “Crazy-Ass.” Or as our friend Yoda would say, “Crazy-Ass you are, fish it you must….”
A Beautiful tiger patterened smallie
(Caught in our famous “Crazy-Ass Pool”)
The fiesty smallie that had AC fighting in the weeds
AC with the finally subdued smallie
As you may already know, the RiverBums have special powers. And while we aren’t seen on the streets of Gotham city or NYC engaging in web-spinning and cap crusading whilst saving lives, we are doing something as equally, if not more, important! Anyone can twirl in a phone booth, but it takes a real super bum to make a fish walk on water…
Don’t believe us? Well then, you haven’t heard of Tail-walking. Yes, my friends, we said it, Tail-walking…
Tail-Walking : Ta·il Wa·lk·ing ( T-ä“-il, Wá-lk-ing)
1. The moment when a fish’s tail flips & flops along the surface of the water whilst being reeled in by a fishing rod.
2. A motion of muscles and use of fishing equipment that creates the illusion of objects defying gravity.
*3. A Supernatural feet of commanding a fish to walk on water by way of telepathic power from the mind of an almighty and all-powerful RiverBum super hero.
Ok, so for all you “doubters” out there. Yes, it may look as if the way the fish is being reeled in and it’s excitement level that it propels itself out of the water and flops it’s tail back and forth to create a moment of water-walking. But, you’re wrong, it’s a super power. And although we support the campaign of “believing is seeing”… feel free to indulge in a little seeing and believe…
A RiverBum Tailwalking in a Catch!
Dad with a LARGEmouth!
Last view of the river before another week of work, sweat, and tears…
Although the RiverBums have bigger fish to fry, we appreciate the days where perfect casts, hard reeling, and conquesting bumming pays off! So, it’s on to Northern Wisconsin for this Labor Day Weekend to fish the famous Bois Brule. Oh and we hear the blog will have some new “programming” available for you next week. But, I guess you will just have to “watch” and see…
Until next time…we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…
AC & Dad