We have all had those days, those thoughts of days, when everything just seems to go the way it is supposed to. I recently had just such a day with an old friend and they never cease to amaze me when they occur.
Leaving before first light Allen “Bubba” Kay and I started out for a familiar stretch of the Kenebecasis river. We had been down for a drive a few weeks prior to check on the height of the water levels and at that time we deemed it both unsafe and unlikely to be able to fish it with any amount of success. This time we arrived and the water had receded somewhat, or at least enough so that you could now see the river as it twisted through some open fields.
We arrived as the sun was just peeking over top of the trees in the distance, casting it first light and warmth over the pool which we were facing. We could instantly see fish surfacing and rolling and it didn’t take any more than that to get us to start getting geared up. I had my new 4wt that I wanted to get wet and this was a great day to give it a test run. We couldn’t see anything in the water that was hatching to give the fish the opportunity to be as playful as they were but whatever it was there must have been a lot of them because you could see fish surfacing at every spot on the river, in the pools, in the flooded sections of the field… yes I said in the field… I will tell you about this in a few moments.
It took us a while to figure out what exactly they were interested in but when we did, it was rewarded. We fished the large pool for quite a while before we started heading down the feeder creek to the main river, we each raised a fish here and there and continued on as we talked about the day and the surroundings, how the water had dropped and how it would be great to come back again when it drops another foot. We finally made it to the confluence of where the feeder creek feeds into the main river and here is where it all began.
I crossed the little inlet first which was basically flooded field before the pool although we could all see one large fish rolling in the pool. It would have easily gone close to 4 pounds and we knew that the challenge had begun. Both dries and wets started working, caddis fly patterns, streamers and bugs all produced as we cast into this pool over and over, and every pass was rewarded with a roll, a strike or a fish coming to hand. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that there were fish surfacing in the field to my right so I made a quick roll cast, which didn’t go unnoticed by my companion who proceeded to make his snarky remarks about fishing in a field… we both laughed and as I replied that I would fish in a puddle if I thought that there were fish in it. It was at this time that Bubba tried to follow the route that I came through to get to where I was standing, I heard some cursing behind me as I turned to see him wringing his sleeves out to get some water out of them.. apparently our height difference wasn’t figured into his calculations and he went under and stumbled a bit. Being the trooper he is, he opted to fish on and he was rewarded for his efforts.
With every cast we could see wakes in the water as they made their way to the treats we were offering. Most of the fish were in the 10-12″ range but that was just fine for the light gear we were tossing and the number of fish coming at us kept us busy. With every cast however you would wonder where that big one was. He would show himself every once in a while just to keep you interested but he wouldn’t take what we were offering.
We ventured back to the first pool, the day had turned to rain and the fish enjoyed it or so it seemed. There were a couple of gents at the main pool who were fishing with worms with no luck or so it seemed. I landed a nice 14″ trout shortly after returning and one of the guys came running over to see it and asked if he could have it, he had watched me fish a stretch just below him and I released several fish before coming to the main pool again. I just looked at him and told him that I was saving a few for my friend, it was Bubbas anniversary with his wife Rose and I figured where I took him away fishing on their anniversary the least I could do was give her a couple of trout for them to enjoy. The man walked away almost sulking.
We then switched sides and crossed the road to fish further upstream. This is where we ended our day and the fish were absolutely everywhere. I would have found it impossible to believe how someone could have make a cast and stripped the line or just let it swing without a fish trying to smash it because that is what they were doing to us on every cast.
I will get back down soon, I know the water will be subsiding, I know the fish will become more concentrated or maybe even more spread out, either way it will be fine with me because I love it. Just to be on that familiar stretch of water again and to hunt for these gems. The time was right on this trip and it will be right again…