Drums Along the Mohawk: Redux
When the water is down, there's a lot of territory to explore on the delta. Not enough to truly get lost, being situated at the nexus of 3 cities, 2 major river systems, a state park, railroad, multiple automobile bridges and a DPW center, but impressively, more than enough to lose yourself and experience what nature has been able to seek the delta's refuge.
This year every visit to the islands (but 1) has resulted in at least hearing a deer. Yesterday I saw the same doe twice on opposite sides of a side channel within an hour. I've jumped rabbits, been rushed by geese, stepped on catfish, and been a homing beacon for caddis. There are secluded places, believe it or not, where you almost feel in the wilderness. All you can hear is the rushing water and wind, and if you don't strain too hard, you can't even see the buildings in the distance. Surrounded by river, shale, forest...and these;
Oh, I'm sorry, forgot the polarized lens;
For those of you who always ask how much of a difference polarized sunglasses make, how's this? Just held my sunglasses in front of the lens. While you can see the fish a little better, the big deal is turning those obscure shadows and reflections into well resolved bottom detail.
I threw everything I had at them. OK, I threw a conehead bugger and zero stealth at them. Somehow, they managed to decline. Managed plenty of smallies though, from 6 inches on up to 16. Also landed a 10" herring (well, plucked it out of a pool and tossed it on a rock...), which almost prompted me to tie one on and go hunting for bruiser bronzebacks. But, it was really just a one-fly kind of a day.
In addition to all the carp, there were nomadic pods of what first appeared to be massive bass. When I got close enough to see a little better, well, the drum were in. Everywhere. Cruising deep, holding shallow, plucking crustaceans off banks and ledges. None would take the bugger. Or even look at it.
Until I saw a tail in a shallow riffle. Had to be a smallie. Turned out to be a hungry 18" drum. Not massive by any means. Especially considering they don't put up much of a fight. But plenty to put a healthy bend in the 8 wt.
I've caught freshwater drum before, as a kid, but never on the fly. Interesting that they (this and the other, 14 incher I caught) didn't really fight particularly hard; they had plenty of power in reserve which they demonstrated while I was trying to unhook and release them. Guess they were just playing me.
Knock another one off the list. Now...for them pesky carps....