I am starting this off by saying I have utterly failed my love so far this year. I have not given her the attention she needs. I have only floated the river twice this year. That just sickens me. Between weather, tournaments, life and ect. I just haven't had great opportunities to have my way with her like I normally do. Well thanks to the last 3 weeks of solid rain and mass flooding, I saw my chance to take a go at my mistress and reap the benefits of an untouched river. With a final break in the weather I put the old internet to work. Scoured gauge and weather reports. GOOD NEWS! Levels are falling fast. So put out the APB on Facebook, hoping to get a comrade in my adventure to make things easier. Days pass with no word from the kayak brigade, until Friday, I get a call from fellow WCO teammate Kyle Hammond. He asks if I'm still planning on fishing on Sunday. Which of course I was. Told him I would get back with him Saturday evening to work out the details.
Saturday comes we decide a river. Kyle suggests a stretch which I have never fished so I was totally game. Picked an afternoon float and it was on. Kyle arrived at the take out a few minutes before me which gave him ample time to shoot me a call to tell me the river couldn't be in better condition. I pull up to what I can only call Perfection. What I am about to describe will only truly be appreciated by the other RiverRats out there. The water had a perfect flow rate, slight off color, nice riffles, boulders, gravel bottom, lay downs, down right perfection. We decide to leave Kyle's truck at the take out and run my rig up to the put in. As he is loading up his gear into my truck I suddenly realize that I had forgot my paddle. After a few minutes of bewilderment I decide I've come to far and its been too long I'll make it work. I mean I'm floating a river, no worries. My cohort and I make the short jaunt up the road to the put in and made haste to launch. As we were launching I remembered I had a piece of PVC pipe in my kayak. SCORE! Makeshift paddle. Right off the bat Kyle draws first blood with a nice 12" smallmouth to which I returned with the devil of the river, a rock bass, hate them things. As we floated it was very apparent that these fish were hungry. They were absolutely crushing our baits. Kyle was killing them on a white Zoom Fluke and a Bomber crankbait and I on a Power Team Lures pearl Grub and a Susky Slayer Food Chain Tube. Every textbook spot there should have been a fish there was a fish, if not multiple. We were catching some decent fish with a majority in the 12-14" range until we came up on a nice little split in the river. Kyle made a perfect cast between two trees and with a couple cranks of the reel, it was on. All I could see was his rod pumping. He had was getting bulldogged like crazy. He was finally able to subdue the beast, a gorgeous fatty. We put her to the board and she topped out at 17", a great smallmouth in anybody's mind. After some pictures she was released and I was able to pull 6 more fish out of the same hole as Big Mamma. None in comparison to his but all decent fish. The float continued and finished with more fish caught and the agreement that we will do this float again, only with my paddle next time.