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31 July 2005
Shiawassee River [July 31 2005]

We finished off our weekend with a quick evening fish on a nearby warmwater river. We have developed this habit over the past few summers. The Shiawassee is close to home, easy to wade and fish, and has an abundant population of smallmouth bass. It's a quick drive to get on the water and I can feed my spey casting habit, so it's a nice relaxing way to end an evening or a weekend. Recently though, we've only fished the Shiawassee 3 times in 2 months.

Tonight, the water level was waaaay above average - still high from recent thunderstorms. Wading was still pretty easy, but the fish were not present in their usual, predictable locations. I swung white and yellow streamers on a sink tip and found only 2 interested fish in 3+ hours of fishing. They were both smallish 10-11" pictures of health. Both came from the edge of a swift seam at the bottom of a deep slot. I thought I'd find them by casting into slower pools and swinging the fly out into the main current tonight, but instead found them in the quicker water. B tried her old smallmouth standby, a tan and white beadhead woolly bugger and had no luck. She switched to other streamers - conehead leeches, muddlers, etc. and still nothing. She ended her evening by stripping a Gartside Gurgler, a recent discovery and favorite, but it sparked no fish interest. It almost never happens, but B finished the night with a 'skunk.'

Ratio of actual to expected fish catch: 1:6
Wildlife sightings: 1 very crabby great blue heron, 1 very friendly dog, 1 carp, lots of cedar waxwings
Did I get to use a spey rod?: Yeeeaah, baby.
Probability of B getting skunked while I catch 2 fish: 1%

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