Friday, May 15, 2015

South Fork of the Licking River

big crayfish population; look where we found this guy

I have been thinking about fishing the South Fork of the Licking River for many years and just never spent time exploring it.. Ted and I decided to run down there yesterday and see what it is all about.  It is an easy drive from Cincinnati down 27.  We met up with Glenn Thaxton and he provided us with a canoe and transportaion and a bunch of local knowledge.

The stream has many islands that provide a lot of structure to fish.  The air temp and water temp was cool because it went down to about 47 the night before in Cincinnati, so it was probably even cooler out there in the sticks.  The day started off slow and I tried to get them to take top water with not much success.  I switched over to a bead head brown wooly bugger (the exact same fly I used on Friday at the Elkhorn).  I started to swing and strip this streamer with a bit more success, but still not the action I wanted.  I think the water was a bit too cool for any real action.  We stopped for a little snack at the end of and island and then we split up and worked opposite sides of a long, shaded island.  I had enough and switched to an olive zuddler.  No holding back; I brought out the secret weapon.  No mercy smallies!!

I picked up about four fish as I swung the zuddler off the bank in a somewhat tight channel.  At the top of the island there was a set of riffles; very trout looking water.  Above the riffles off to the left was a flat area I was going to walk through to cast to the "good looking water" beyond.  I remembered my rule of casting to the area before I disturb it and BAMMM...this big smallie SMASHED my zuddler the minute it touched the water.  Did I say BAAAMMMM!!!  It ran all over the place and then headed down to the rapids.  I turned him and horsed him in on my heavy bass leader and landed him.  Big fat 15" smallie.  Now that was fun!
The zuddler kept them busy for the rest of the day and I picked up 32 fish with maybe only five being smaller fish.

trees like this everywhere; crazy root systems

tons of good water around the islands

fish on!

Dixie Devil doin' the job

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