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  1. #1

    Default 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.

    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).

    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.

    I concentrate on the current and after 3 seconds after my hopper hit the water, it disappeared.

    A small, but beautiful redeye. This is what I came here for. Make a few more casts and drifts and I score again.

    I'm starting to think it could be a banner day of catching. I climb around an obstacle in the river.

    I find another promising stretch of water and get to work.

    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  2. #2

    Default Re: The niche game...

    The work didn't stop once I made it to the water.

    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.

    I kept working my way down....

    I hit every little pocket of water, it was amazing at what tiny water held a little redeye sometimes...

    My thumb showed the signs of early success...

    I had worked up the the initial lookout point where I looked down at the river.

    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....

    I had to hike out and go around it. I walked through lots of this...

    And this....

    Which was full of this...

    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....
    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  3. #3

    Default Re: The niche game...

    Back to work on the water...

    First spotted bass I've ever caught, even though it's a runt....

    Did I mention the scenery here is awesome?

    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...

    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...

    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.....

    This little guy was down there with a committee of panfish around him....

    ---------- 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.....

    Caught one small jewel out of the starting gate...

    This flow was even more brutal to hike around and in....

    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....

    Nope, it WAS Jesus!

    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.
    "Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau

    "Chance favors the well prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

  4. Likes swirlchaser, mcnerney liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Pocono Lake , Pennsylvania

    Default 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!
    "I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
    "There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
    " It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
    "Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser

  6. #5

    Default 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.

  7. #6

    Default 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.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: The niche game...

    Dat's some good stuff right dere.

  9. #8

    Default Re: The niche game...

    Redeye are my favorite, especially in the little creeks I grew up in. Good post.

  10. Default 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.
    Corbin Hart
    Auburn University Fly Fishing Club
    War Eagle/Tight Lines

    Make sure to like our facebook page for a chance to win free flies!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Default Re: The niche game...

    Excellent post! Those are some great looking fish!
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

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