Visions of Spring.

by Ryley Batewell February 05, 2014

When I envision Spring, I think of 2 places. Those would be WNC (Western North Carolina) trout streams, and this creek that flows by my town, known as Twelve Mile Creek.

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Despite being an avid trout fisherman, I do love to get out on some local lakes and streams for some warm water fly fishing. 2, 3, and 4 hour trips to certain streams in Appalachia are not always possible, so I have taught myself no to look past the mass of opportunities that surround  me locally.

Ever since I have been fly fishing I have fished in lakes in ponds. I was browsing around in the Satellite view of Google Maps early one morning this past summer, and I came across a fairly wide stream that I had never heard of not to far away from me. I was very interested in this opportunity to fish some new water, so I called up 2 of my friends up and we made it happen. We arrived only to find water that looked quite similarly to chocolate milk. We decided to make the most of the time we had and fished it like we thought we should. We ended up catching around 10-15 Channel Catfish on some heavily weighted flies. Since then, I have become captivated by this fishery.

My favorite days on the water consisted mostly Bluegill chomping on hoppers drifted slowly through little side pockets, and bass on big streamers stripped through long slow runs. Every now and again you would be presented with the opportunity to hook into a catfish or gar. Those were definitely fun, but my heart remains with bass.

Bass from this creek (Spotted and Largemouth) are some of the most beautiful and acrobatic fish that I have fished for, and they are definitely the hardest hitting. They come out of nowhere and strike a fly with such anger that they almost rip the rod straight from your grip, especially if you are not paying attention. The most spectacular strikes only come if you are lucky enough to be fishing as the sun begins to dip down below the horizon. Ripping big poppers across the surface. I have seen fish jump clear out of the water to inhale them. Even though these fish might not even get the fly into their mouths, it is still one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences I have had.

When I envision spring, I see Bluegill rising to surface flies, Catfish making my fly reel sing to me, Gar refusing even the finest of presentations, and Bass furiously attacking anything that crosses their path.

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Yes this fish was caught on conventional tackle. This here is a spotted bass.

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Sorry for the low quality pics, I’m just working with what I have, hope you guys enjoy this!

Top photo, taken by: Evans Dressler (my friend).

Tight Lines!

-Ryley Batewell

 








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