Once in a post I likened the darkened bars on the gill plates of a smallmouth bass to war paint.
In the last issue of The Drake, I wrote an essay about smallmouth bass where I described the “dark bands on the gill plates popping like war paint.”
Many times when you write for print it’s as if you send it out via pneumatic mail tube, never to be heard from again. So it was gratifying to get a package in the mail from an angler from Michigan named Jon Lee.
“That stuck with me,” he wrote of the line. “I paint fish and couldn’t get it out of my head so I painted it.”
Thanks Jon Lee, to me that’s about as cool as it gets.
The sun came out and the shallows warmed and fish moved into them. Others held fast in the current rips, poised for ambush, and still others patrolled the drop-offs or took cover in the newly thickening weeds. The fish hit the flies of those who were there and the pics are for those who could not be.
A descriptor, and a point in favor of the smallmouth bass.
We like them like we liked putting M-80s in things in middle school.
Hank iii wrote about being tattooed and branded. The smallmouth bass has its own kind of markings. If the aggressive take didn’t tell you, or immediate rise to the surface with a succession of jumps followed by the rod doubling over on a thrash to the bottom, the look on its face after landing should clue you in.
It’s saying, you and me are never going to be friends.
A quick wordless summation, complete with sunset cliche.
The North Country beckons. The big nasties are aligned in the fly box, ready to endure any sharp-toothed ambush tactics in the shallows. ZB touches down at Idlewild and we take to the interstate highway system. Boats will be launched, lines in the water, by the PM. This is the 12th Annual, attended by family and friends who roll from way back in the 20th Century. This is a good deal.
We got smallmouth, too.
Unemployment is close to 10 percent, and the percentage of jobbed people with lunch break casting access is criminally low.
Remedy: FJ reader Chris Erdman sent report of hitting smallies in the pond behind his office building. That’s like stealing.