I was hoping that today I could start my smallmouth expedition on Blue River but the fact is I simply chose a bad day. To begin with my time today was short and secondly the wind was still quite brutal. Now the wind today was nothing compared to yesterday with reported gusts of seventy miles-per-hour across the prairie ocean. But still, the wind was enough to make one uncomfortable and casting difficult.
Knowing all these facts full well I still decided to go and give it a shot because today would be my only chance this week of searching for the community of bass in Blue.
Actually it could have been a very nice day today with the sun shining brightly. The Dogwoods and Redbuds were in full blossom so I guess I can't bitch too much.
I entered the river with smallmouth on my mind and even had the proper fly tied on to find them and in this case it was a white streamer tied with cactus chenille. I must have made fifty casts or so without even so much of a bite and the long story short is I did not find a single smallmouth or any other species of bass today. I did see one nice bass circling my legs while standing in Glory Hole. For the most part the bass seemed uninterested and mainly annoyed at my presence. I must have invaded his lie and he wanted me gone. So...I moved downstream.
Downstream I made a single cast and something attacked it. I was sure I had connected with a nice bass and then the fish showed itself from a distance and I was still sure it was a nice bass. But then I noticed how unremarkable the fight was for a fish this size hooked downstream and being fought against the current. The fish seemed letarghic in the fight and this led me to believe it was a Rainbow that had started to feel the effects of the warming water. The water was indeed warm today and I know this because I fell in.
Indeed it was bow and it was a nice one. I brought the fish to hand and immediately found myself torn as to what to do with the fish. I knew very well it was much too late in the season to let the fish go. I also knew that a Rainbow this size simply doesn't have the flavor as a smaller bow, in my opinion, and I don't care to partake in them.
I harvested this bow and since she's too big for the dinner table and honestly not big enough for the wall I figure she's still on her way to Texas and Rusty Ponder's taxidermy shop. Rusty will do a good job with her.
I didn't want this bow, and giving her life for my enjoyment, to go unnoticed. I'll spend two-hundred dollars to have her mounted and during my remaining days I'll showcase her and hope that her life will be a testimony to the rewards of angling. After I'm gone perhaps my children or grandchildren can take charge of this bow and they too can showcase the rewards that angling can bring.
I hope this bow today will be the last I catch this season.
It was a bittersweet moment.