The last couple times I went looking for white bass have not been that productive. Today started out the same. I went fishing with a guy I've never been with before and we were trying a stretch of river that was new to the both of us. We bush whacked and searched holes and nice runs that looked fishy. Before getting in the water I did see what looked to be bluegill running into deeper water from my shadow. This was a lot more encouraging then my last few trips to this river. The last time I came there was no sign of life. We continued to hike and wade until we came to a section where the water came around a bend and made a deep eddy. I figured there had to be fish there. The access to the water was sketchy. I had to watch my balance on a sandy steep hillside, try not to snag the trees on either side of me and above all not fall off the small cliff into the water. I made a successful cast and started to strip my line. My white fly stood out in the dark black water. Then a silver silhouette came from the depths and started to follow my fly. A quick silver flash and a line strip later I had my first bass of the day. It was bigger than any I had caught previously. I tried to get a movie of me releasing it but the fish dropped out of my hands before I got the camera in position. I figured well it's ok I'll catch more. As time went on I started to wonder. The wading and hunting continued with no more hits or any sign that the day was gonna get better. We had fished for almost an hour and my 1 fish was all we had to show for it. The thought to try a another place altogether was brought up but fortunately for us we pressed on.
I went on upstream of my friend and did some reconnaissance. When you go fishing sometimes you come to certain spots where you just know there is fish there. It's not a feeling or a sixth sense specifically but rather an intuition. The spot I encountered had a deep run going between trees that had fallen and been positioned by high current to frame a picture perfect pool. I cast my line in expecting to catch a fish. Even with that expectation I was surprised to see a silver bullet chasing my fly from the depths. As the fly came towards the surface I noticed it was actually two fish following the fly. This is what I had been searching for a school of bass. I kept getting picks at my fly from different fish and seeing silver flashes like tinfoil reflectors under the water. Finally one of them was tugging on my line.
This was bigger than the fish I caught earlier in the day. I was able to catch a couple more then I went and got John to come up and try his luck. I went upstream a little further. There was a similar looking pool that I knew had to have fish. I sent my line in and caught a really nice fish. This was the type of bass I had heard stories about. 15inch 2-3lb slab.
I called over to John who was still having no luck. Had him cast to where I figured the fish would be. Instantly he had a fish on. What was funny is that it was a sunfish. Quickly he got it off his line and cast again. Again an instant strike and again another sunfish. It was actually comical. I asked for him to let me try again, I made a cast and then had a sunfish on myself. Gladly, those were the last sunfish of the day. The next cast John made caught his first white bass.
In that same hole was the mother load. Cast after cast we hooked really nice size bass and even a couple times had a double going. The action stayed fast and furious and we started to get cocky and felt we could throw anything and catch fish. Right about that time the fishing slowed considerably. When it was all said and done we figured between the two of us we caught at least 20 fish just in that one hole.
I can't think of a better way to end the day. The weather, water, fishing and company were great.