I have had time to eat, sleep and mull. There was so
much input, so much to experience yesterday when we
met and fished Sloan Creek.
Sloan would be any of a great many Collin County creeks
that eventually flow to the Trinity or Lavon save for
the fact that an old sportsmen's' horse club built a
concrete dam across the creek at some point in the
dim past resulting in approximately one hundred yards
of "more than a creek."
Mick invited Don and I to come up and do some after-work
fishing while Mick took possession of his prized
Zenkoanhead bamboo staggered ferrule bamboo rod.
(Bamboo speak 6' 9" staggered ferruled/Thomas taper/4-5
weight. A sweet rod indeed!) Don brought out his 6' 9"
non-staggered Garrison 193 taper, 3 weight. Since this
was all bamboo day I would have been embarrassed to show
up with mere graphite. I dragged out my J.R. special, a
bamboo rod I got from him a few years back. It's minimally
a six weight, nine feet plus with a butt section you could
pistol whip drunks with.
Started off wading across the top of the dam. By wading
I mean that my shoes were wetted up just past the soles.
I'm lazy to a fault and did not want to change footwear.
Right behind the dam is a pileup of timber washed down
from upstream. A nice pool bounded by dam and timber
seemed to promise some fishing success. I was not
disappointed and soon hooked up with some pretty little
sunfish. The variations in color always delight me. There
were some bright yellow bellies, oranges, greens and blues
with a number of different shapes as well. I think that
it's bluegills and rock bass and greenies all mixed in
and interbreeding or not as the case may be.
After landing a few surprisingly feisty sunnies I got bored
and decided to amuse myself by dapping the fly into the
innermost depths of the timber pile. There's a pool
section bounded by roots and dead cottonwood parts
with a deep undercut and depth that is greater than
the surrounding water. A bad place to be if one were
a minnow or insect etc.
Sure enough, as soon as I took my attention off of what
I was doing and started maundering my view around the
sights, looking for my next place to fish, the rod bent
hard and line started screaming off of the reel. Mind
you this is six weight line on a big hulking bamboo rod
that is minimally a six weight, could probably handle
eight weight line. The unknown fish dove into the maze
of roots and stickups; I managed to turn his head and
get him out long enough to see the biggest sunnie I've
ever set eyes on. Then, while I stood there with my
mouth agape, being amazed that sunfish got that big,
he headed back into the timber. I never got that fish
to hand. He stuck up in the lumber works real tight and
was probably showing me how many digits of I.Q. he thought
I had. So I left him be and took off upstream.
There were a few more sunnies in the slower slack water
up from the dam. Deeper water here with pollen and other
tree droppings coating the surface. A kingfisher flew
overhead at one point fussing and cussing like a blue
jay. I think I took his spot. The wind was howling
yesterday but where we fished was wind-free. The creek
runs west to east, the south bank, anywhere from a steep
slope to a vertical wall depending upon where one stands.
On the north side I could look up and see the trees
whipping in the wind. Snug and calm in the creek bottom
I felt as though I was cheating somehow. Texan fly fishers
know all too well the bane that is our wind. To cheat
Up from the dam the casting was easier. I held the rod
out across the water and side-armed it just like Brad Pitt.
One cast came in close to the bank and a steep bluff topped
with trees. The fly hit the water but never got to really
even get wet. BAM! The sunnie I horsed in was no doubt the
biggest sunfish that I have ever landed. Not as big as the
hoss I'd left down by the dam but pretty damn darned big.
Conservatively he weighed a pound, maybe even more and was
fat, fat, fatty boy. He has been doing well on the bugs
under that tree.
After that the fish quieted down and we chose to call
it a day. Duty calls, life goes on. So the Duck Creek
Angling and Margarita Society headed off to meet at El
Fenix for Crazy nachos and margaritas. It's the official
way of things. ~ Robin Rhyme