I hadn't planned on writing anything about my last trip. There wasn't much to it. But then I realized what I had just done was the very thing this blog promotes and encourages. Always travel with fishing gear: Be prepared and grab an opportunity to fish somewhere new, even if just briefly and opportunistically. I learned some new water, took notes for next time, and caught fish in the process.
The next day I was much further downstream, down in a warmer water fishery, and found myself with about another hour of available time. I beat around trying to find access and bailed out in a likely looking place where ownership was apparently public. This time with a shorter spinning rod for working topwaters and jerking jigs in slower water. I targeted smallmouth bass and caught several smaller ones. Nothing over a half pound. Pike were in the back of my mind, but I never saw any. I was fishing a 4lb mono but had a spare spool filled with a super line I could swap out if pike showed up.
I started out with a good "attractor" jig that would generate hits from anything I expected to be here - bass, pike, maybe trout. Once the smallmouth showed their presence, I switched to a Heddon Torpedo to force some surface bites. Had some of my first topwater bass action in quite some time.
I switched back to a jig when I came across a nice run with some depth that was begging to be probed. I bounced bottom with some slow rolls of a 1/16th-ounce bait. Slow water, slow flutter with a lightweight lure. I felt a big pick-up on the end of a drop, ensured tension contact, and set the hook into some poundage. The fish stayed put, then throbbed with pulsing thrashes of a fish with heft and length. It didn't take off in a blistering run like the bass or pike I was anticipating. Brown trout crossed my mind, but when I saw the trademark white tip on the tail I realized my quality walleye streak was continuing.
I fished a total of a couple hours within a 24-hour window. Caught four species. Caught what I targeted and some bonuses. Was blessed with a surprise trophy.
I could have simply driven by. But that's not me. True to form I squeezed in an opportunity and capitalized on it. It panned out in big ways. I saw new beautiful places. I breathed in the smell of forest and river - a break from the hum of tires on the road. And now there are a couple more places in my hit-list for later, with some ideas of species to target - along with other gorgeous water I drove by and drooled over but didn't get to sample that's now tucked away into memory.