Scott's Outdoor Blog

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cheney Cats

Wheeled out to Cheney again after work to see if the fish were still up.  A light south wind was blowing in, slowly fading as evening went along.  Perfect conditions, or so I thought.  With the sun up, the water was flat, no sign of fish at all.  I fished my way out, walking further from shore with every cast.  As the sun set behind the treeline, I began working my way back towards shore thinking this would be my last trip of the year.  Then a hookup.  I felt the solid weight bend over my rod, and I was happy I wouldn't be going home empty handed.  I felt the head shakes and rolling over the line typical of a catfish.  The fish made a few big circles about 15 feet around me before finally coming to the net.  The net felt heavy enough as I pulled it out of the water that I decided to put this one to the scale.    

The fat bellied fish pulled the spring down to the 8 lb mark, making it my biggest cat on the fly rod.  There was still a little light left, so I waded back in for a few more casts.  As my first cast hit the water, I saw a boil with a tail flop out of the water.  I pulled back on the rod, picking up the slack, and setting the hook on another head-shaker.  I could tell from the shakes that this was a smaller fish, and I horsed it in as quick as possible.  I'd guess the second one went 5 or 6 lbs, but I wanted something BIG.  

The next cast, surprisingly,  was retrieved without any takers.  But the first strip of my second cast pulled back on the line between my fingers and never stopped.  As the fish ran out, I frantically tried to guide the slack line through the rod ferrules, hoping to get him on the reel before the slack wrapped around my net or something.  The fish had probably ran over 50 feet when all the slack pulled out and the reel's drag system took over.  Once I had him on the reel, I thought I had a fighting chance of finally landing a big one.  Then the hook popped out.  I'm gonna head out next week with a headlamp and a mouse pattern.  Hopefully, I can get one of these guys to suck down a topwater after dark.  Here's a few more pics of the fish I did land.

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