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-   -   The niche game... (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/warmwater-fly-fishing/291363-niche-game.html)

mrl0004 07-15-2012 02:51 PM

The niche game...
 
Some people only care about targeting and catching large fish. A lot of people refuse to target smaller fish. Just about everyone refuses to climb, hike and bushwhack for small fish. However, to some people, that is their niche. My niche is targeting small beautiful fish in beautiful places. Brook trout in cold water and my new found warm water treasure, the red eye bass. When I learned that Alabama has brook trout-esque water, but contains redeye bass instead, I was sold. Plans were made, and I left Saturday morning at 4am for my destination.

I arrive in awe of this beauty in my home state that I had never seen before. I also am a little skeptical that I have to get down there on that river.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140117copy.jpg

I get closer to where I will make the descent, and I am still dreading the hike down (not to mention my lack of though about the hike back out).
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140002copy.jpg

Well, after a quick 10 minutes or so of a knee-jarring, toe-jamming downhill hike, I arrive to the water. I put my rod together and start casting. It's roughly 7am at this point.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140010copy.jpg

I concentrate on the current and after 3 seconds after my hopper hit the water, it disappeared.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140009copy.jpg

A small, but beautiful redeye. This is what I came here for. Make a few more casts and drifts and I score again.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140014copy.jpg

I'm starting to think it could be a banner day of catching. I climb around an obstacle in the river.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140018copy.jpg

I find another promising stretch of water and get to work.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140040copy.jpghttp://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140024copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140028copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140030copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140036copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140063copy.jpg

mrl0004 07-15-2012 02:52 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
The work didn't stop once I made it to the water.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140042copy.jpg

There was lots of climbing involved on the water not to mention the constant walking on basketball size boulders or skinny flat rocks that felt like standing on one of these coated in oil.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...moonhopper.jpg

I kept working my way down....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140043copy.jpg

I hit every little pocket of water, it was amazing at what tiny water held a little redeye sometimes...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140047copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140051copy.jpg

My thumb showed the signs of early success...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140055copy.jpg

I had worked up the the initial lookout point where I looked down at the river.
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140062copy.jpg

My legs already feel like jello and not only do I have to hike back through the stream, but then back up to the point. Oh well, that's a worry for later in the day...

I worked up to a really deep section that there was no way around in the water....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140100copy.jpg

I had to hike out and go around it. I walked through lots of this...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140083copy.jpg

And this....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140082copy.jpg

Which was full of this...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140079copy.jpg

I imagine I'll have a breakout in 4-5 days. I finally think I am past the deep part, but I have to somehow get back down to the river....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140084copy.jpg

mrl0004 07-15-2012 02:54 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Back to work on the water...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140088copy.jpg

First spotted bass I've ever caught, even though it's a runt....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140089copy.jpg

Did I mention the scenery here is awesome?
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140092copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140093copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140095copy.jpg
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140099copy.jpg

The fishing seemed to taper off around 11am as the sun was out in full force. Also, these guys hit before anything else could anyways...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140005copy.jpg

I figure it's time to hike back and out, eat some lunch, re-hydrate and try somewhere else. By this point, I feel how my fly looks...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140137copy.jpg

That hike out was brutal. It let me know exactly how bad out of shape I am, but I would still do it again tomorrow. In the meantime I decide to do some sight seeing, got to see the falls.....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140135copy.jpg

This little guy was down there with a committee of panfish around him....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140132copy.jpg

---------- Post added at 02:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:53 PM ----------

I made it to my next spot, which was more up in the mountain. Oh good, another hike down into an unknown.....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140140copy.jpg

Caught one small jewel out of the starting gate...
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140143copy.jpg

This flow was even more brutal to hike around and in....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140147copy.jpg

I didn't last but a couple more hours and I was done. No more fish except lots of green sunfish. Talk about a tough drive home. I was fighting sleep the whole time. I thought I had started dreaming....
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140151copy.jpg

Nope, it WAS Jesus!
http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/...140149copy.jpg

I got home and crashed. I haven't been that worn out in quite sometime. It was an awesome experience and I will be back. I am doing the penguin walk this morning. I feel like someone cut out my calf muscles.

theboz 07-15-2012 04:58 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Great post ! Scenery was spectacular and the fish were gorgeous. Those little referee are very cool looking. Thanks for showing your adventure it was a treat!

mbphotos54 07-15-2012 06:50 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Im there... It seems I dont mind gogin after little fish, and making journeys to cool places, it does go better when youcatch a lot of cool little fish. the baby pumpkinseeds in the creek I fish are soem of the coolest looking fish I catch. great post thanks for sharing the advneture.
Mike

williamhj 07-15-2012 07:03 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Great pictures and report! Looks like a beautiful place to fish. I love fishing trout but bass on a fly rod are a blast especially when they take off the surface. Enjoy your new discovery.

ghocevar 07-15-2012 07:13 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Dat's some good stuff right dere.

redyote 07-15-2012 09:28 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
Redeye are my favorite, especially in the little creeks I grew up in. Good post.

fishingfly 07-15-2012 09:53 PM

Re: The niche game...
 
I agree, the tight small places that are well-hidden are my favorites. Even if you don't catch anything it is still a nice experience.

stl_geoff 07-16-2012 08:38 AM

Re: The niche game...
 
Excellent post! Those are some great looking fish!


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