There has been a project at work that was taking up a ton of my time last month. To top it off I got in an accident and made the hard decision of buying another car or fixing the old one. I went with getting a new used car and after working almost 2 weeks straight I got a couple days off. I really wanted to go to the beach but I heard after Sandy the fishing could be really bad. I'm always happy to go to the mountains but this time of year most of the leaves are on the ground. There's been a saying from other fisherman about a fall bass bite. "You fight pulling leaves off your flies more than fish." Supposedly bass try to fatten up before the cold weather hits. The rumor was their feeding is veracious and you have a good chance of hooking a lunker. I have never had this experience but I decided to give it a shot. You'd think my first fishing day off in a while I wouldn't pick a place that I have had some of my worst fishing days. This river is the closest place to me and I was looking forward to just getting out and exploring. As usual when not knowing what exactly to use I went with a white wooly bugger. The water was higher than I'd like but really clear. I cast out near a rock that always looks like a good fish hold. I start messing around with different strips and I'm trying to get the hang of feeling every bump and tap on the fly through the fly line. While I'm stripping I look back over my shoulder to a spot that has always produced fish in the past. I went to just lift my line up from it's current position but there was resistance. I figured I was snagged but the line started moving towards me and I felt the familiar feeling of a bass. It was a nice one too. The fish fought hard and used the current to it's advantage. I couldn't help but wonder if this was a good thing. Catching a fish on your first cast can mean a great day or a one fish day.
The fish was chunky and had obviously been feeding recently. Maybe there was something to this fall bass thing. I went on and continued to catch bass here and there. All of them had fat bellies. If I cast close to the bank or under over hangs there were always sunnies willing to play.
I really wanted to fish hard today. I was really feeling good. I finally felt I had a day where I picked the right day to fish, wore the right clothes for the conditions and had the right gear and flies to fish properly. I fished new water and found some great new holes. When the fishing started to get slow and I doubted what I was doing a bass always struck. They wanted a slow trolling retrieve today. The hits were subtle and I learned to have my hand ready to strip at all times. Bass strikes are so strange to me. They feel like you've bumped a rock or snagged a tree branch. Today was a great day and I hope fall continues to be productive.