May 28, 2012
I must admit, I tiptoed around the camp at 4:50 AM this morning. There were three anglers hoping to join me for smallmouth fishing. If any of them woke up they’d of gone. But I kind of wanted to go solo. This was my last morning of smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee for who knows how long.
By 5 my first cast with the popper sailed up against the neighbors boat dock. The last three days smallie fishing has been fair at best so I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my delight a respectable 12 incher sipped the popper between pops and I landed him.
That smallie got my attention. I proceeded out of Wolfeboro Bay and towards the open lake, the broads in my green canoe. When I turned the corner to where I could see all the way to Rattlesnake Island I had to stop and take the view in. It was spectacular. There wasn’t a ripple across the lakes surface for as far as the eye could see. I really have missed this place since I was a kid.
I started fishing diligently. I kid you not; the popper raised a smallmouth from every place they should be. They were just waiting to ambush the popper from under docks, leaning white pines and against the rocks. It was unreal. And these fish were crazy. Every one jumped several times and did their best to wrap me around rocks and logs. The morning was spectacular.
I could have ventured on all day, but being it’s my last I wanted to spend some time with the family. After a couple hours I headed back, of course with a few more casts along the way at all the spots where I missed a fish. That’s when I nailed this hefty smallie. This one will be my last smallie of New Hampshire for awhile, and a darn nice one to rest on. By the way, I balanced my camera on the thwart of the canoe in order to get this self portrait.
After coffee with Mom and Dad, then a cigar with my cousins it was time to fish again. Finally, Cousin Jon could join me. Jon and I did everything together when we were kids. We fished, swam, camped and the list goes on. We never stopped. But we haven’t fished together in perhaps 10 years. And that was in Idaho on the Henrys Fork. So as far as fishing together in Back Bay – it’s probably been more than 25 years!
We filled a cooler with beer and then I guided him all the way along Wolfeboro Bay to town. Jon has his own fly rod, but I noticed it still had the plastic over the cork. Not sure if he just bought it because I was coming or perhaps he got it with good intentions right after his visit to Idaho ten years ago. Bottom line however, Jon doesn’t get out fly fishing much. But, he did well. His casts weren’t long. His loops weren’t that tight. But he only hooked himself in the back once. I held the boat where it needed to be so he could put his popper in all the right spots.
It was midday. It was hotter than all get out. I haven’t done great at this time of day all week. However we managed to scrape out a few fish. On the way to Back Bay Jon lost a big smallie and landed a couple rock bass. Once in Back Bay things were extremely slow. So slow that we tied up the canoe and went to a dockside restaurant for beers and tacos.
After that I continued to paddle Jon along the entire perimeter of Back Bay. We caught up on things and laughed about all the great old times we had in Back Bay and around Wolfeboro as kids. And Jon caught this nice bluegill. One of the few bluegill I’ve ever seen in Back Bay.
It’s been a fantastic week. Moms 70th was one we’ll all remember. My surprise of showing up in New Hampshire without telling her will go down as one of the best. Then to see all the family that I haven’t seen in forever was great too. Tomorrow it’s the long flight back to Idaho. I’ll get in late and Granny and I will prepare for the Bass on the Fly Tournament that takes place Wednesday on Ririe Reservoir. Life never slows down!