Location: Lake Tamaha in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Species: Largemouth bass
Methods: streamers on the Tailwater Outfitters 8 weight rod
Flies: black rabbit strip leech
Conditions: Very overcast in the beginning and transitioning into just partly cloudy. Water was sixty seven degrees while the air temperature was probably about sixty five. There was a consistent fifteen mph wind coming out of the East. Because of this, I opted to fish from shore as opposed to using my kayak. Water is very clear with some three feet of visibility. I overlined my rod today with a 9 wt to give myself some extra punch into the wind. I built a straight seven foot leader out of 2X. As it turned out, this combination of tackle worked perfectly for the conditions.
Notables: I caught three good-size Largemouth today all on the exact rig described above. The fish I found were all holding tight to structure and I needed the stout rod and the sturdy leader to pull them out of their holds. The first fish I caught came out of a series of snags and fallen trees that formed a perfect set of structure for bass to hold in. On a short cast I used a jolting, popping retrieve to provide life to my leech. When the fly was just some five feet from shore, a white flash gave evidence of the predator I had aroused among the structure. The fish rose rapidly, leading my fly and taking it from the head as they are wont to do. After a short and surprisingly tame battle, I landed a healthy 14 inch bass that pushed approximately a pound and a quarter. Twenty minutes and about four hundred feet down, I found my next fish. I captured my second bass of the day when I shot a bow-and-arrow cast through overhanging bushes and into a shelf that dropped about four feet immediately off the bank. This fish honestly startled me as it hit the fly spectacularly before darting into the aforementioned structure. The fight was vicious but short with the fish darting in and around branches before eventually succumbing to the pressures put on it. I'll admit, when I hooked this fish I had little confidence I would land it! Thankfully, my line held and my rod ended up being none the worse for wear as well. This bass measure fifteen inches and maybe one and half pounds. I caught my third and final fish of the day when I waded several feet out into the lake in order to get a better angle for casting. I made a forty five foot cast directly parallel to the bank and worked the fly past some heavy structure. Suddenly, my line stopped dead on one of my strips. As sudden a stop as it was, I was sure I had snagged a downed tree I had seen. Then the water roiled and a flash of white and green proved my initial instincts wrong, fish on! A split second into the fight I knew that something had immediately gone wrong, I saw the fish between me and the tip of my taut fly line. Knowing what this meant I rushed forward freeing my fly and leader from the trunk it had wrapped around and allowing me to continue to fight the fish unencumbered. Now, the battle was in close quarters with the fish darting in and among the heavy wood. After a few more seconds though I pulled the spent fish up and out of the last structure. This was my finest fish of the day measuring over sixteen inches and weighing around two pounds. Barely hooked on my barbless leech, it was a wonder i landed her at all.