The fishing story I went fishing today.
I love to fish and I try to go fishing everywhere I go just to say I did.
The water was as clear as a swimming pool and I could see the bass bedding down near a group of rotted-out trees. The trees were still standing but had no leaves to give shade. The bass were hanging around the darkest part, that being the trunk of the trees, but the sun was able to shine right down and light them up anyway.
I’m talking about some lunkers here, fifteen to twenty pounds apiece.
I didn’t have my normal rig I like to fish with, but I did have a good fly rod. I know you think I’m crazy trying to catch a bass that big with a fly rod and with such clear water, but I didn’t know what to fish with. Most of the waters I’ve ever bass-fished were nowhere near this clear, and most of the time they were downright muddy. I know how to fish a muddy body of water, but this was new and wonderful being able to see what I was fishing for.
The main drawback was that I couldn’t get very close to them because I was standing on the bank. I had the beautiful snowcapped Himalayas behind me with a cool breeze blowing just enough to keep me comfortable but not enough to make the water ripple, so I never lost sight of my bass. I tied on a white fly. I had no idea what these bass like to eat, but a good habit I have is looking at what surrounds the body of water I am going to fish. If it is a muddy bank with crawfish, then I will go for dark, large bait of some sort without too many things that shine like spinner baits. If the banks are covered in grass or swampy, then I go for the lighter colors and my favorite baits for this area would be a weedless frog.
I was standing on the most beautiful sandy beach beside the clearest freshwater lake I have ever seen, with the most bass I have ever seen, not to mention the largest bass I have ever seen. I didn’t know what to use as bait. I was looking around and found that the area had quite a few flying ants. These ants had big white wings and when they would fall in the water these bass would suck them under. They didn’t make a loud splashing sound, just a slight slurping noise and the ant was gone.
I chose my fly to match the flying ant as closely as possible. The very first cast I made, I saw the biggest bass I have ever seen in my life coming to investigate it along with a few smaller ones. They all just looked at my fly but didn’t do anything but look at it and then swam back down to their bedding area. I cast about twenty times with the same results every time. I was desperate now, I wanted a fish, I wanted the big one, but I was willing to settle for any one of them. I thought I would try something.
Thinking it was my human smell on the bait that was turning them off, I decided to fix it. I found an old tree covered with these flying ants and caught about a dozen of them. I killed them and rubbed their little bodies all over my lure, trying to transfer as much of their odor to it as possible.
I cast this time . . . and the same thing. I saw the monster bass come to look it over and just when I thought he was going to go back down, a smaller bass headed for my ant-smelling bait. I guess he thought the smaller bass was going to get the ant so he rushed back and gobbled up my bait.
I didn’t know what hap¬pened, one second he was going to the bottom without taking my lure and the next second he was heading to the bottom with my lure. He caught me by surprise and almost took my rod from me. You would think after spending years fishing in water you can’t see a strike coming, I would not have been caught by surprise.
My heart was pounding out of my chest, my rod was about to break, I was fighting at least a twenty-pound bass on a fly rod with a seven-pound test line. I had to finesse this monster or he would break something and I would lose him for sure.
I played this bass for about twenty minutes before he started to get tired. I was walking up and down the bank trying to keep him from getting tangled up in the stand of trees he had been bedding down in. He would rip the line off the spool and I would ease it back on. This was one of the greatest fishing moments of my life.
He finally got tired and I was able to get him up to the sandy bank where I was. I pulled him in ever so gently because at any moment he could make another run for it and if I wasn’t ready when he spooked, all of my efforts would be in vain.
I eased him into the shallow water and I lay down on my stomach so I could reach him without having to wade out. He gave one last splash but I had him. I had my thumb in his mouth and I wasn’t letting go. He splashed so much water in my face, I had to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes again, my boss was standing over me with an empty water cup saying, “Get back to work and if I catch you sleeping on the job again you’re fired. And why do you have a thumb stuck in my tuna sandwich?” Charles
PS: This book from beginning to end is true to my experiences and knowledge except “The Fishing Story.” I love to fish and a true fisherman has a little fiction in him somewhere.