When I Didn’t Know It All

Headed out to a local river last night with a friend. It was new water to me only in that it was a stretch of the river I had not stepped into yet. Maybe it is the long protracted hot weather or maybe the fact that hay fever season, of which I suffer, is in full swing. Whatever the reason I did not have the energy or the desire to put a lot of thought into equipment and fly selection. Usually, I am thinking about what the fish are keying in on, the water temps, the clarity, the weather patterns, the insects, and on and on. 
Last night I just wanted to get my feet wet and have some fun. So, I figured some hopper imitations, large Caddis imitations, small poppers or small/light Clousers would be the ticket. If not, tuff s**t. I was not going to swap flies every ten minutes. I was not going to lengthen my leader, reduce my tippet, watch my drift, drop my flies gently. I was going to fish how I used to when I first started so may years ago and did not know what I was doing.
Call me Earl 'cause karma was on my side and I had a great evening. The water was very nice in terms of "fishy" water. The temps were great, hardly any bugs buggin' me and the fish were biting. The caddis didn't produce and after about 20 minutes I switched to a small popper, the kind you use for bluegill. Next thing I know I'm catching 13 inch smallies as well as all sorts of panfish. The whole four hours on the water were great. I switched off the popper only one and changed to a Clouser Darter but after about 30 minutes and only a fish or two I went back to the popper. What a great summer warmwater fly fishing Indiana evening.
Baby Popper
Next time things aren't working go back to when you didn't know anything and catch some fish.

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