Peninsula Fly Fishers
  

Kilfoil at Kelsey

It had been a difficult morning for most of us. The feed on shad most of us had expected never materialized. I decided that the threadfin shad phenomena at Kelsey was pretty much an early spring event.

By 11:30 most of us were ready for a break. Conversation at lunch was full of the sort of banter and teasing that men enjoy so much and women find to be downright cruel ("Hey Wayne, I don't care what people say about you, I think you're OK"). Conversation was also very informative. I learned from Harold Patterson that the tastiest part of a fish are its cheeks. He promised to prepare a Jamaican soup for us someday to prove his point. Meanwhile, Dave Kruss told us about these cattle dogs of Australia that are utilized during roundups. I decided that must be a dangerous profession for a dog.

"Hey guys, Kilfoils gotta a bass!!!"

What on earth!!? Where? Somehow Tom had sneaked off during our lunch hour and was landing a hefty bass right in front of our noses. I rushed to get a camera and snapped off about 4 shots. I was rewinding the film when, low and behold, he got another one.

"Hey, this guy knows what he's doing", I thought to myself. Ignoring the impression I may have left on others I started feverishly inflating my own float tube. For the next hour I followed Tom like a puppy dog. I watched his every move with interest. The most remarkable thing about Tom, I concluded, is that he fished as though he fully expected a grab on every cast. It wasn't the intensity so much as a self assurance gained through experience. There was no experimenting in his fishing. He methodically dropped the popper in every likely spot and retrieved it in a series of jerks and pauses that left no guess work.

And it worked! It worked so well that bass came to the popper without even seeing it. Sometimes you could see weeds 15 ft away moving as the bass worked his way through the grass to get at the popper.

After about an hour of Tom's tutelage I paddled off to seek my own fortune, never losing sight of him. I emulated the master and managed to land a couple of my own on poppers.

By five o'clock Tom reported that he had landed over 10 and lost many more. What was Tom's secret? The design and construction of Tom's poppers is greatly superior to most deer-hair poppers. The second reason for success was the presentation. When seen from above the movements of the artificial looked just like the natural.

If you have the opportunity take the time and watch the old master at work. It is time worth spending.

Igor Doncov


Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2016
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