It was the middle of March. I stood at the end of the muddy boat ramp, the tips of my boots nearly touching the lapping water. A green, padded cooler was draped over one shoulder. Inside, a couple of beers, an ice pack and two bottled waters. An old Jansport back pack hung from the other shoulder, filled with a box of shallow-running crank baits, some jigs and a couple of fly boxes. My right hand clasped two rigged-and-ready fly rods and a spinning rod. I checked my watch.
As this cadence continued — slowly working our way down mud banks covered in downed trees, casting shallow and retrieving back to the boat — a similar rhythm emerged in terms of how and when we caught fish. It almost seemed as the fish were only active in brief, five-minute-max increments, which were normally followed by 20 minutes of inactivity. Perhaps, it was just a matter of motion and finding schools of feeding fish, but for whatever the reason, the strategy pursued proved to be most productive (flies, jigs and jerk baits realized nada). Even in mid-March, the white bass and hybrids were already thick in the river system.
|White bass. Or stripe. And, a big one.|
|Probably a hybrid. Maybe. Probably.|