As 2010 winds down, I've found myself with a vacation day surplus, which is an oddity. We operate under a "use it or lose it" policy, so what better way to celebrate the big day than to make it a three day weekend? A plan for the day formulated quickly; I decided to hit the Mackinaw and finally write my name in the Illinois record books with a record longear sunfish.
In a move reminiscent of
I started off the vay-cay-day by sleeping all the way until 7:00am and then taking my sweet time to eat breakfast, drink coffee, watch TV and load the truck. By the time I made it out the door around 9:00, the mercury had finally crept up into the 40's but I packed a hoody - just in case. What a terrible reminder about the beginning of the end, there is so much I have left to accomplish this year.
I made my way to the spot I think is the most likely hole to catch a longear. Things started off cold and I was glad for the hoody - the wind blew, I couldn't bear being in the cool water and tying knots was difficult. I resolved to not wade again this year without a minimum of thermal socks and flannel-lined jeans. Eventually the air warmed up, but the fishing never did. After trying the Adams, the spinner, a pencil popper, and a bass popper I finally struck pay dirt with a white and yellow woolly bugger.
It is the nicest bronze I've managed in a long time and it felt good, but it was no longear and a tinge of disappoint was beginning to set in. I fished a total of eight hours and tried about every fly I brought. I also missed a few takes...longears no doubt.
The quest will continue. We picked up some rain today and yesterday's 18cfs has almost doubled now...string a few of those together and there might be enough water to fully submerge a nymph.