I recently spent some time with extended family up in Blackwell, PA. Every year we have a family gathering of my wife's family at a cabin that sits within walking distance of the Big Pine Creek and the rails to trails path that follows along this creek. A lot of the family likes to spend time on the bikes enjoying the scenery. They ride up through portions of the PA Grand Canyon or they ride down to Cedar Run for ice cream. Sometimes I tag along but other times I would rather be in the creek.
Unfortunately I forgot my camera. I had some awesome experiences on the water the one evening. I had a black bear cross the creek just down stream of me. Then I had a bald eagle fly overhead. And then I had a mother pin tail duck swim by me with her brood of young. She had 24, yes 24 babies that she guided up around me. Oh and the fishing was good too.
Sometimes I can get into a few trout but it wouldn't be happening this time. There hasn't been a lot of rain and the water was really low. I knew right away as I stepped into the creek that this would be a bass day. The water felt like a mildly warm bath. The air temps were in the 90's and the water had to be close to 80. It didn't even feel refreshing as I was wet wading in this water. I was trying some new popper designs and they produced well for me. I also was using the ice magic, which is a new design I have been working on. It produced well on the smallies. It was a black and chartreuse model. Most of the smallies that I caught were on the smaller side. I have never caught any that were too large. I know they are there but they have never cooperated with me very well.
This night was different though. But I found out that this fish was better than I was tonight. I was using this new popper. I had been catching small fish on it and was used to their little splash takes. All of the sudden my popper was engulfed by a large fish. I had a good fight on my hands. This fish got down and dirty in the fight, then would rocket out of the water! He did this three times that he launched himself out of the creek. This smallie was the largest fish I had ever hooked on this creek. It's depth of body told me it was the king of this section of water for sure! And he proved to be too tough to handle. Just before he jumped the third time he started spooling line. Something happened with my drag and when he stopped running, the reel didn't and there was some slack line. It took this opportunity to jump, spit the hook and say C-YA! I was bummed that I didn't get it to hand but was happy to know I can hook up with the big boys.