Yeah, I know it's not a white. Keep reading....
Itís been over two weeks since I first started chasing the Haw's white bass and the river has been unfishable since. It has been incredibly frustrating thinking that we were missing the annual run due to high conditions. Thursday evening, finally, the water began to settle to semi-reasonable levels, and my friend Dave and I were on it first thing Friday morning. Sad to say, the whites were not as ready as we were.
I was surprised at the number of vehicles parked at the Robeson Creek launch at 9:00 on a Friday morning. Don't people have to work or something? Over the next couple of hours we saw several fisherman; spin casters, fly fisherman, kayaks, canoes, and even a bass boat pushing upstream from Lake Jordan. And from everyone the story was the same. Nothing. Nada. Zip. No white bass.
Dave had to head back after a couple of hours, but, not being one to suffer a skunking lightly, I retreated to my normal stretch of water, gave up on the whites, and tried to scare up a largemouth in the murky and high water. It took a while, but I went back to fishing deep holes with a Murrays Marauder and I did finally entice a sturdy 16 inch bucketmouth (above), followed shortly by a smaller 8 inch fish (below). The first made the day, as large bass on a fly rod have a way of doing. The second was a bonus as I had made my last cast for the day, was reeling up my stripped line, and he took the fly dangling a leader length off the end of my rod. Sometimes you're good, sometimes you're lucky. I'm usually neither.
Iím not sure exactly where we stand with the white bass; if they are done, not started, or slow, but Iím going to keep trying while the dogwoods are in bloom. The water was a somewhat chilly 55 degrees so I am hoping they are still going to be out there for us in the settling water and coming warm up.
Oh @#$%, itís starting to rain again.