My first choice for today’s trip was the Sipsey Tailrace. I knew with the overcast skies the trout would be feeding on top, but Mike wanted to fish the lake for largemouth. We were fishing the back of some of the sloughs trying to locate spawning bluegills. It was a slow morning with both of us landing a few fish, me fishing my fly rod and Mike fishing his spin cast/combo. As we were leaving I decided to fish one of my favorite rock walls in
. I knew big bluegill hang out near the edges of the walls in Smith
after the spawn to feed on the small fresh water shrimp. Ryan Creek
After landing a few small gills near the edges of the wall using the Barr Nunn popper; I connected with what I thought was a good bluegill stationed inches away from the edge of the wall. The fish didn’t take the popper aggressively like the big bluegills I catch. It did swim fast to deep water as all the fish I land from the walls do, which caused me to take up slack line at a feverish pace. After getting the fish on the reel the drag started to sing and then I knew this was a bigger fish and maybe not a bluegill but a big spot. After playing the fish and getting it within viewing distance in the super clear water I knew I had a super size gill. As I lifted the bluegill in the boat I told Mike that he might be the largest bluegill I’d ever landed using the fly rod. I seldom take a picture with fish I catch but Mike convinced me that this fish was worth the mug shot. The bluegill nailed the popper in water 30 ft. deep and made a run for freedom in water 55 ft. deep. I know this fish was not in the spawning mode, because of the depth he was in. No fish were kept today and that included my prize catch. I released him not only for his heroic fight but because of his size and colorful markings. He was worthy of the quest count, which puts me 17 away from my goal.