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14 September 2005
Shiawassee River Semi-Fishing Report [September 14 2005]

We squeezed in another brief evening fish tonight after we got home from work. Dusk is upon us earlier these days, making our quick and casual evening fishing outings a whole lot quicker. Tonight, we decided to take Dylan, our newish year-old border collie, to see if he'd cooperate and patiently hang out within a comfortable distance and stay out of trouble. We anticipated a less rigorous fishing experience since we'd be splitting our attention between Dylan and the river. B took her light spinning rod to make fishing less complicated, but I couldn't choose against my 9'9" 5 weight.

Our plan diverged further from normal when we arrived at the county park and B discovered she hadn't brought any spinning lures. I forgot important stuff too - my lanyard with all my various fishing tools, floatant, etc. I've done worse. I've forgotten my rod before. We decided to share my 5 weight. We also decided to impersonate bank-billies and dispense with waders and wading. We didn't have much time to fish anyway.

Ugly Turks TarantulaI tied on an ugly, poorly-tied Turck's Tarantula. It became hopelessly soggy after about 3 casts since I didn't treat it with floatant. It didn't appear to matter though, I quickly hooked into a 15" smallmouth under an overhanging branch. He was a powerful guy, the biggest I've ever caught I think. Even with my 9'9" rod it took a bit to land him. He was gorgeous - deep bronze with almost argyle-like patches over his back. Alas, my camera was back home with my fishing tools and lanyard so I have no picture to share. Here's a picture of my ugly Tarantula instead.

B took her turn with my rod but the bite was clearly not on. She caught a rock bass on a Gartside Gurgler, but could entice no smallies. I played the chase game with Dylan while B fished so we'd both be out of the way of her backcast. When we were both tired of chasing and being chased, we convinced B to pack it in and go home. We called ahead to our local pizza joint to order a pizza to pick up on the way home.

Landing efficiency: 2/2 (it's almost steelhead season, gotta practice the lingo)
Wildlife sightings: cedar waxwings, bats, a few straggler whiteflies, eyes in the ditches on the drive home...
Dylan's grade as a fishing dog - points awarded for patience, distance from backcasts, obedience etc.; points deducted for dirtyness, eating strange materials, scaring fish, etc.: Not bad, shows promise, B overall
Rating of Mama Lee's Greek Pizza: 3.5 stars out of 4
Did I get to use a spey rod?: No
Enjoyment grade for the evening: A

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