Jun 27, 2009

Catch a snatch cat

It was always there, but I never saw it. With my new found fondness of the finer forms of fishing, the crick creek close to my childhood home has been looking more attractive lately. I even noticed a public parking lot I'd never before noticed. It will masquerade as "The Snatch" at least until I can get a better idea of it's prospects. Don't take it personally, I just have some theories I'd like to check into first. If you know me or where I grew up you'll probably figure it out....good for you, you're not the one I'm hiding from.

I've been biding my time; she does not flow every day and when she flows she'll sweep you away. A few days of heavy rain last week followed by a week of sun meant today might be the day and I'd better get on it before another storm. I had my eye on this morning for about a week and I was just in time. This morning the flow was perfect for wading, then we got about two inches of rain this evening. Because this creek is often dry during the summer months I knew I'd be wise to stay close to the Snatch's convergence with the river - hopefully some river fish would venture upstream. I fished solo from 8-11:30 this morning in a 1 mile stretch that started at the mouth and stretched west. I was fully committed to the long rod, bringing only waders, a vest, my 8wt St. Croix and a few of my better bass flies.

Sadly I didn't get to see any smallies, but I was treated to my best fight yet on a fly rod. In fact, it might have been the best fight I've ever had because it was on a fly. The winning fly was an orange/black Clouser Madtom I tied with a weedguard and some custom black rubber legs.

First I discovered the catfish wouldn't fit in my net, so the next order of business was to find a patch of ground I could drag it onto. After walking about 50 yards downstream the real fight started. She didn't want to be anywhere near the shore and made 5-6 strong runs. The fight lasted so long I started to "feel the burn" (now I know what that knob below my reel is for). I even had time to consider setting up the camera for some action video but I couldn't work out the logistics of getting the camera out of the zip-lock bag without forgetting the fish. I didn't have a tape or scale, but luckily I took a picture.

I've now measured my rod. From the front of the reel to the first ferrule measures 21", and it looks like this cat might be a smidgen over that - I'll call it 22". After a very short search, I haven't found a length/weight chart for channels but I'm happy knowing it's length.

I've also discovered 90 degree heat paired with sun and heavy midwestern humidity is more conducive to wet wading. I'll know that next time and pack my trunks, in the mean time can any one provide instructions for getting the stank out of my waders?

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