Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Couple of Mornings on the Streams

Monday morning found me at first light hiking through several old hayfields and a cornfield to reach the Buckhorn section of Licking Creek. Saw a number of deer on the walk in but they hi-tailed it for the woods before I could take a pic. This fellow was more obliging.
 Licking Creek varies from a mud bottom to a rocky bottom and runs through farmlands for part of its journey. The recent rains made the water slightly muddy but fishable and I soon had a nice foot long smallie by the lip.

As I worked my way upstream I caught a few smallies both in the 10 to 12 inch range and in the 6 to 8 inch range telling me that the spawn had been successful the last couple of years.  About half way through the section I had planned to fish that morning I hit paydirt. As soon as I set the hook I knew that I had a nice one on and after a good battle I landed a nice 14 incher.

My next two fish felt like they were in the same size class, but I didn't get a good hookset on either of them and lost them. A few casts later I had yet another strike and made good on the hookset. After a nice fight I had another 14 incher, a carbon copy to the first one I caught.

A couple of pics of the stream. The shallows were teeming with tiny crawfish, too fast for me to get a pic of, but a nice sign of a healthy stream.

A sunfish that tried to eat a plastic worm that was about as long as he was. From a cold water stream they have to be one of the most beautiful fish there are. It's a shame they can't grow to be 8 or 10 inches long instead of the usual 4 or 5.

Tuesday morning found me making the long walk up Wills Creek to the Enchanted Pool. For a number of years after I "found" this pool, it yielded several nice fish each year but last year Caleb and I fished it with little success and I feared it had been discovered by "meat" fishermen and had been fished out. A fire ring made from stones and a rusty lawnchair on the far bank at the head of the pool gave me a sick feeling , at least there were no forked sticks by the waters edge and the fire ring had weeds growing up in the center telling me that no one had used it yet this year. As I started to fish the tail of the pool I had a heavy strike and knew I had a good one on. After a stubborn battle along the bottom of the pool I slipped a nice one into the shallows. As I checked it's length on my rod it showed it as a 16 incher and I was glad that at least one nice one still survived here.

The rest of the pool gave me only a couple of small rockbass so I climbed the bank and headed upstream to fish the Eagle pool, so named  because it is where I saw my first Bald Eagle on Wills Creek.

As I waded into the pool something caught my attention in the water in front of me. A huge Snapping Turtle.

From the tip of it's nose to the tip of it's tail it looked well over 2 feet long and I gave it a wide berth.

I caught several Smallies in the 8 to 10 inch range and some pot-bellied RockBass.

After about 3 hours of fishing the ache in my back told me it was time for the long walk back to the truck, but I was satisfied with my two good mornings of fishing on some delightful waters and the thought that there was a lot of summer left and a lot of water to visit.

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