Loaded up the other day to chase my favorite southern bass in the mountains of Alabama. Alabama rod rack is engaged and ready.
As I make my way to the stream, I pass a lot of hikers following the foot trail to the scenic overlooks. That’s as close as most people will ever get to enjoying these streams in Alabama, and maybe that's a good thing. There's still cool things to see on the trails.
As I get closer there is some various debris scattered around a burned out campfire. Lots of natty light cans, cigarette packs, old beetle spin lures, etc. These folks almost get close enough to experiencing the true wonder and beauty of these streams They might even on occasion catch the smallest and prettiest Micropterus. They quickly lose interest, however, because “They ain’t big enough to eat.” The sheer ignorance and lack of curiosity has protected this fish from Alabama natives for quite some time. That's almost certainly a good thing, but it's also a double-edged sword because who's gonna fight to conserve them?
We're getting closer now, mountain laurel is about to bust out any day and the 3wt is rigged and ready.
The scenery in the headwaters makes it hard to remember that I'm still fishing in the land of lunker largemouth and crappie. Those are found wayyyy downstream. Up here, around the highest point in Alabama, there is a fish that has rarely even seen a human, much less a glitter boat.
The water temps aren't quite perfect, and I had already missed a few strikes on a hopper. A quick switch to the always faithful Boogle Bug popper and a pool like this, I knew success was imminent.
A quick cast along the seam and my suspicion was confirmed, right where I thought he would be.
These fish are really something else. They act like trout and are some sort of marriage between high elevation bluelining for brook trout and small stream smallmouth bass fishing. Two of my favorite freshwater fish combined into one compact package.
Days like these make the rest tolerable. Life is good.
"Don't ever underestimate the power of a good blue line session with a 1wt. Shit gets settled out on the boulders, things get prioritized. And, in the end, you put something back in the tank..." -wandering blues