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This is an old fishing report. It was an actual event that I wrote about a few years ago. I enjoy reading it and do so right around this time as the anticipation builds. I'm probably still finding spelling mistakes though.

March 31, 2004

It's been raining ever since I got off the river tonight. There goes our beloved Potomac River and any other tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. The fishing was great while it lasted I guess.

Yesterday the Potomac was perfect, beyond perfect. The hickories were as active as ever, slamming flies every other cast. They didn't care what color, pound tippet or size of hook. The river was void of people. Two other boats out with dead calm conditions and eager fish, could it be. I must have been dreaming. The water clarity was that similar to a spring creek after quick summer storm. Basically as clear as it can get. I watched the hickories chase the fly all the way to the boat making lightning fast slashes at my flies with little reluctance to eat everything in their way. The herring were even biting and they usually don't do that until the middle of April. I only managed one herring but he was just as much fun as an 18 inch hickory.

I thought what a fine fish and what a tasty morsel he would be to Mr. Rock fish swimming below. I knew they had to be there so off the side he went with an 8/0 circle hook. [I guess I am not a purist.] I was fly fishing but I thought I could fly fish and snoop around for a big blue cat or striper at the same time with some heavier tackle. Well... After only a few short minutes and a couple hickories later my large bait caster started to shake. The clicker alarm started ticking away with short and quick clicks as my bait grew more frantic. I could just see the poor little guy spazzing out because danger was near. I guess he couldn't quite swim fast enough to get away with an 8/0 hook in his lip. But just than I hooked a good size shad on my fly rod and at that very second my bait caster started singing a tune similar to a 17 year cicada. The line feeder was dashing back and forth like a typewriter typing at 100 words per minute as the line dumped off my spool.

What about my shad I thought? What about my $350 orvis rod. To heck with it, I have a fish of a life time on here. So I dropped the fly rod with shad still fighting and grabbed the big rod. I slowly hit the handle to engage the real and the Nantucket sleigh ride was on. I was anchored but this fish didn't care. That anchor quickly came free as my fish, my kayak and I headed for Virginia at a 90 degree angle in the peak of ebb tide. My heart was in my throat for the safety of my Orvis rod, not to mention my own well being. Hey, I had a life jacket on right. I'll be fine. As the fight grew on, the backing on my 6500 Abu was showing. I thought about just cutting the line or even throwing the rod over board. But as all beings this fish had to tire eventually because I knew I was already there.

I had to have my friend in his canoe chase me down stream to rescue my fly rod from under my thigh so I could deliver the final power pumps to tire my trophy. After a few heart jolting runs under the boat she finally came to the surface. All 43 inches of her. The hook was conveniently in the side of the mouth and after a few seconds of reviving her she thought it would be appropriate to cool me off with quick kick of her tail as a tidal wave of water covered me from head to toe.

But I guess I was dreaming because just when conditions are perfect, Mother Nature had to do this to us. There's a rain storm just circling the whole of Maryland. I'm watching the radar right now and just when you think it will continue to the east it starts its circulation over again. I guess it was fun while it lasted.
 

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You keep dreaming like that because we BOTH know that a dream could be a reality in a moment's notice.

March 31 is a good day in real life! We boated a 35" on that date a year ago!

Ernie
 

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Yeah man...I go fishing every year on my birthday (March 25), and almost every year I manage to scratch out a couple of shad.

This year I may try for pickerel, though....so much dang fun!
 
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