Second of two parts --
We should have taken it into consideration, the rain. Thursday night, February 20, it rained and stormed dumping a ton of rain into all the creeks. We should have given that more thought on February 23. Maybe you remember what a storm we had? But we didn’t…at least, not much. A couple or four weeks ago, we were starving for a spring-like day.
The boat slides easily into the creek. Hiz Honor did most of the work but I helped. The creek looked great…the small creek, the one that joined the Smith 200-yards down. The one that was far shallower than it looked. Good thing the Judge was wearing his hip boots. I don’t own me none. However, that was not where we were going to fish. We were going to fish The Smith and it was rolling right along. Still, we should have caught fish. Oh, I caught fish, just not, what we were expecting.
The Smith was bad high and rolling like a freight train. The holes we should have leisurely drifted through, we barreled through like the Music City Star. The fast water, water we would usually have gotten out and worked from the bank, was white-knuckle water. Class four rapids are not the norm on the Smith.
A float that should have taken at least half the day was over in just over two hours.
I felt like that dude in the boxcar on Soul Train. Wheeee! That is flat motoring on. The water color was not so bad you could not catch fish. In fact, I kinda liked it. But it was a long way from being the clear blue it usually is. Every spring and pipe and was dumping more water into the mix. The water was full of leaves and trash-hard to work a lure in that.
However, as I told Judge Durham, it was a learning trip and boy did we learn.
To start with, we learned to take heavy rains into account. That way, you don’t float so fast you don’t even get to eat lunch.
We learned from Kelby Melton, the 14-yr. old grandson of Bobby R. that there was a better launching place 150-yards down the field.
Kelby had a good deer season, he informed us. He killed a nice six-point buck after a long stalk.
Kelby also renewed our faith that not all kids spend their free time sitting on the couch frying their brains with video games. Kelby was out and about on his ATV, enjoying the spring-like day.
We also learned, rather quickly, we had too many clothes on as soon as the sun was over the trees. In fact, I about sweated myself down. The Judge, hiding under his Indiana Jones hat, may have sunburned the end of his nose.
Now about the fish I caught. Fish as in the singular. It was the first smallmouth of 2014 for me and from there, I can only go up. The monster leviathan attacked my little crankbait with less than vigor and since the lure was almost as large as he was, there wasn’t much of a fight.
Then, we found a much better way to take the boat out. Just attach one end of the good rope to it, attach the other to the truck and simply drive off. Vi-Ola! The boat is on the grass and ready to load into the truck.
It was a good float anyway and a good day with beautiful sun. Folks was out and about. Bobby was moving hay, an elderly lady was hunting arrowheads in a large field (rain washes them out) and even Bob Rochelle was up early. Said he liked my column.
That is a good way to start any day. And make no mistake, we will be back. In fact, we are already planning the next trip.
New state record?
A new state record Kentucky Spotted Bass was caught last week from Parksville Lake in Polk County.
Steve McKee, an officer with the Bradley County Sherriff’s Department, landed the 6-pound, 15-ounce bass, Monday, March 10.
Once the bass has been certified by DNA it can be official. It must be tested to determine if it is a pure Kentucky Spotted bass and not a rare largemouth/spotted bass hybrid cross.
Contact John L. Sloan at -- firstname.lastname@example.org