Friday, September 26, 2014

Splendid Sequatchie

Patrick Roberson and I had been knee-deep in Tennessee's Sequatchie River for about three minutes when the first of many rock bass nabbed the little black jig I'd tied from my dog's shed fur, and by the time we'd worked circled the pool (maybe 10 minutes), we had caught and released four fish of three different species (rock bass, crappie, smallmouth bass). The next pool up produced a longear sunfish and a largemouth, along with some more rock bass.

"That's the thing about river fishing," Pat said. "You never what you're going to catch."

He certainly proved that. We spent about five hours together, wading two different sections of the same river, and during that time we caught nine different species. I sort of wish I'd had one of those little clicking counter things that pitching coaches use, because I really have no idea how many fish we caught. I only know that it was a bunch, and that on quite a few occasions, he and I were both reeling in fish at the same time.

Pat was showing me home waters. The Sequatchie River, which cuts a broad valley between high ridges, runs right through his family farm in Bledsoe County. Our gear and approach were as simple as it gets. We waded wet and each carried nothing but a single spinning outfit and a few extra lures. In truth, we never needed the spare lures. I fished the same hair jig from start to finish, and Pat never had reason to change from his Hildebrandt Nugget.

My fishing destinations range from the ice to the ocean, and there are elements of every style of fishing that I really enjoy. Pressed to pick, though, I'd have to say that wet wading in a cool-water stream and casting small baits for everything that swims is my favorite way to fish, and yesterday's fishing with Pat was about as good as that kind of fishing can get.

That means yesterday was a "best of the best" sort of day, and you can bet that I'm already looking forward to doing it again some time!

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