If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I wouldn't be upset if my house was a mess. I am not neat. I'm only going to live once and my priorities are in order! That being said, I still remember opening up a buddy's wader tote years ago & getting a whiff of the nasty, bacterial chemical cocktail that was brewing, I was pretty grossed out.
It's amazing how things (the same things you'd think would likely remain repulsive) change.
Work, weather, timing... all sorts of things created a logjam to this year's warm water fishing opportunities. Feeling that warm water time was swiftly winding down, I simply decided it was time to do some small river fishing, come low or high water.
As it turned out I did have both water situations. The Upper Iowa River was running a bit high to easily find the holding areas of smallmouth bass. The Volga River was running too low to float any kind of watercraft. A cold front had also come through.
On Saturday, I floated the first 2/3 of the Upper Iowa River solo. Much of this stretch flows right through Decorah, IA. Other than one little smallie striking a topwater pattern at the first bend of the river, there were no fishy tugs on my line and the water remained undisturbed by fish. After working through color, pattern, size, & retrieve changes, I switched to a couple "desperation flies" but continued fishless. Around 4 pm I hooked up with a few friends, "T" and her son Ben, & T's DNR co-worker Chris. The rest of the float included DNR smallie sampling to check for mercury so I'm happy to write we found a few smallies willing to make tissue donations! I ended up with 2 in the net and lost 2 more. Chris landed another 2-3 fish. We also spotted a mink swimming in the water. It was a beautiful day, we had fun, and I knew that during a particular stretch of my solo float, had the water been lower, I likely would have had to drag my pontoon a long way. It was dusk when we left the river.
My longest fish of the day measured about 13 inches. While tearing down my rod, the 3 guys who had been spin fishing for about an hour returned with 3 smallies that ran from 16-18" long. Whoa! I have my ideas on how they accomplished this, and am looking forward to returning to this stretch of river.
After the nearly 3 hour drive home, I began unloading the CR-V of its contents. While I got a stray whiff of something during the drive, it wasn't until I got the suv into the garage that I truly smelled the nasty, bacterial chemical cocktail brewing inside my vehicle! I might have squinched up my nose, but I was smiling, too. Heck, I'm smiling now! That swampy odor was simply the left-over remains of a great weekend of fly fishing!
While I promptly removed the smelly culprits, my net and fishing sandals, from the vehicle, I thought of my buddy's wader tote. I hope his tote smells just as badly today as it did years ago. After all, it's important to keep the priorities straight!