Objective: capture and detain photographs of bass and/or trout
caught on Peter Frailey's
I'm still new to photographing
caught fish with my new digital. This in itself is an
I went to Rock Creek, one of my
favorite places, to try for the photos. The plan was to hit the
slower runs of the lower section to get the bass in the morning,
then run upstream to the riffles and pocket water for trout.
Hurricane or Tropical Storm Lily or whatever it was pushed some bad
storms up this way, so I ended up leaving late after the weather
cleared a bit.
Got there just before noon, but I
figured I could comb the deeper pools for the bass, even with the
sun high. I started at White Oak Junction, where the creek
"disappears" into an underground cavern. There's a deep pool there,
and slow, lazy riffles just upstream of that. Got a few follows by
some average-size bass, and one hearty grab that I didn't get the
I snuck upstream through the
woods then cast downstream into the riffles to a "bass" I saw
holding on the far side. A slight swing and a couple of strips
brought the fish out to slam the Woodchuck Special. I lifted to set
the hook and a foot-long flash of silver launched into an aerial
somersault. Silver? Yup. Rainbow trout.
I hadn't thought the procedure
through, so in fiddling with my camera, and trying to keep the fish
in water without excessive force, the trout snuck free, and I didn't
get the shot.
From there I worked my way
upstream, fished the slow runs for bass (which I never got a hook-up
on, but had some BIG smallies or Kentucky bass follow it in) and the
riffles and such for trout.
There's a pool that's about 25
feet long and 20 wide, which is fed by one waterfall, then empties
via another little waterfall. The water is "choppy" with the current
flowing over submerged boulders and big tree trunks (yes...snag
country), so you can't see if there are any holding fish, but it
looked real "trouty." I cast right to the lip of the downstream
waterfall, then immediately stripped the Woodchuck Special so it ran
about 6 inches under the surface. Sure enough, a scrappy little
rainbow emerged from the dark bottom to take the fly. Having an
action plan and keeping my cool, I did manage to get a photo of that
So it went the rest of the
afternoon, catching trout where there usually aren't trout (this
section of the creek), and trying to photograph them. I only managed
photos of two. The one I mentioned above, which is okay, but lacks
composition, etc. The best photo as far as all that has "muddled"
elements. Meaning this...
I thought this fish was a bass,
too. One of a pair I spooked as I work my way downstream through
some "skinny" water. It didn't flee far, so I made the cast and the
hook-up, soon realizing it was another trout as it skipped and
hopped in and out of the shallow run. Got the trout to hand and as I
grabbed it, it broke the fly off the line, still hooked. In the
wiggling, it slipped from my hand and threatened to make off with
the fly. So without a touch of grace I managed to nab it again. I
removed the fly, finding that the little fellow had severed the gold
wire and pushed it down into the bend. No time to fix, so I laid the
fly on a rock and held the fish near for the photo. The
result...good photo, with a beat-up looking fly!
Photo by Rob Knisely
So I didn't get much in the way
of photographs, but my day with the Woodchuck Special was
nonetheless rewarding. I tied on one fly and left it there all day
(a rare occurrence for me!). Good fishing, beautiful scenery,
adventure, and I met another fly fisher with whom I talked for an
hour and a half who was also taking advantage of the trout and
admired the streamer I had (this fly catches fishermen, too!).
The Woodchuck Special has worked
itself into the upper echelon... a permanent position in my streamer
wallet, a place reserved for the most effective patterns I wouldn't
want to leave behind. It's beautiful in the water, the orange
complimenting the woodchuck nicely, and the nervous jitter of the
guard hairs spaced by the underfur. A marvelous