Mondays are for Fishing

A shady pool on the lower Finley.

A handful of goggle-eye (there are actually five on the stringer) and a 13 inch smallmouth.
The canoe beckons as evening sets in.

I put the canoe in lower Finley Creek Monday afternoon, and paddled upstream to a little hole I last visited six summers ago that yielded a nice stringer of fish. It's a typical Ozarks hole of water, where the creek turns into a rock bluff. Such holes are great for summer afternoon minnow fishing. The pool at the base of such bluffs is usually deep, with big chunk rock in the bottom. And many times the trees on the bluff keep it cool and shady. You can see why the fish like it.

It's a lot of paddling/dragging to this particular hole of water, which explains why it had been six years since I'd returned. But I was up for the challenge on this day, and had a good feeling about my prospects. I stopped at a riffle about 100 yards below the hole to catch my minnows. I could see the familiar pool of water up ahead, and it looked as good as I remembered it. I was licking my chops when I heard it... The sound every angler hates to hear... The sound of a metal canoe being drug across gravel. I watched with tears in my eyes as two dummies pulled their canoe up to my beautiful fishing hole and jumped in to take a swim. After they swam, yelled, and splashed around for awhile, they got out of the water, took out their fishing poles, and proceeded to try and catch a fish. (Now you see why I called them dummies.)

It didn't take long for them to lose interest, so back in the boat they got, and sailed past me down the creek. I was sure my fishing trip had been ruined, but I decided to give it a shot anyway. It took a little while, but gradually the fish came out of hiding and started crushing my minnows. After a couple hours, I had caught close to 20 fish, including five keeper goggle-eye, four keeper white bass (a first for me on Finley), and a keeper smallmouth bass. I turned back a few that were just a little too small.

As you can tell, I had a lot of fun. Ol' Levi Willy will be ready to go with me six years more... if I wait that long.