Mondays are for Fishing

The sunrise illuminates the trees along Swan Creek.

The community of Swan (the namesake of the creek) is now, for all practical purposes, a ghost town. Here, an abandoned schoolhouse.

I left the house while it was still dark, early Monday morning, en route for the Pomme de Terre River near Bolivar. Just as I turned out from my house, heading north, I saw sheet lightning flash in the distant northern sky. Looked to me like it was right over where I planned on fishing. (I later found out it was in the county north of where I would be fishing, which means I was seeing lightning four counties away. Who knew you could see that far?) So, I turned the truck around and headed south for Swan Creek. Good decision. It was an absolutely stunning morning on Swan, and the fishing was great. But not at first...

When fishing topwater, I typically start with my "big guns." My leadoff hitter this morning was a big, white lunker lure. After fishing the first pool of water, nothing. For the second pool of water, I switched to a Zara Spook. Still nothing. So, when I reached the third pool I switched to a smaller, quiter lure - a Baby Torpedo - and the hits started coming. For the next two hours, I had nonstop excitement. Fish after fish rose to the surface to smack my lure. Most of the strikes were misses, including a couple of pretty vicious ones, but I did manage to catch a couple keeper bass. I also landed a couple other nice bass (one about 12 inches, one about 15-16 inches) that managed to spit the hook out before I could get them in.

At one point in the morning, I looked downstream to see 3-4 adult deer, and a couple fawns crossing the creek. At the time, I was pulling my canoe over some slick bedrock. So I pulled the canoe over as close to the bank as I could get, and went into "Indian mode," making my way very slowly along the undergrowth on the side of the creek, hoping to get close enough to the deer to get a good pic. I am not a very good Indian though, and a misstep on the slippery rocks put me in the creek on my rear end in a great display of thrashing and splashing. The deer looked up at me somewhat amused, and calmly went on their way.

On my way back to the truck, now late morning, I managed to catch nine nice goggle-eye, several perch, and a few more small bass. All in all, I ended up catching about two dozen fish, and would have had a nice stringer had I been keeping. By my estimation, I had also paddled/pulled a canoe over a mile of water. That'll flat tire a guy out, but it's a heckuva way to spend a summer morning!