TS managed to squeeze into position on the southern, downstream side of the bridge and proceeded to work the water with his pink worm while I opted for more solitude, casting large bass and pike flies near the boat launch on the northern edge of the pond formed by the inflowing Cross Creek. After several fly changes and half an hour of no action, I switched my focus to the plentiful panfish busting schools of bait on the surface. Another half hour later I packed up the fly rod out of frustration, I couldn't even solicit a single bite from a "lowly" sunfish! As I assembled my spinning gear with the intentions of joining TS at the bridge the skies finally opened up in a downpour that sent all anglers running for the cover of their vehicles. It turned out that this week's hot bait was lacking appeal today and TS had flogged the water in vain as well!
It was starting to look as if the day was going to be a complete wash out. While waiting for the deluge to subside, we travelled the short distance south to Cross Creek Marina and Resort where we had some action the previous weekend. TS paid for access to the docks and during a lull in the monsoon rains we hit the water again with renewed hope
As with my fly selection earlier in the morning, going big was my strategy for the day and the first thing I selected was a pearl white #28 Panther Martin spinner that I'd found at an estate sale in May but never used because of it's size (one half ounce, 3"blade). After several dozen casts, working the water thoroughly in front of the docks, I changed the Panther Martin for her black and yellow sister. On the fourth retrieve, the bait stopped dead in the water and then started thrashing wildly. After a brief battle I scooped my quarry from the water and admired my first musky in almost 30 years. The lure had fallen out as I lifted the fish from the water while TS took a couple quick photos and then back she went. Not an overly large fish, but it was what we were here for and these waters were known to hold fish in the 50" range!
As I frequently like to say: Once is an occurrence, Twice is a coincidence, Thrice is a pattern.
The next few hours produced many more strikes but no more fish landed. The skies cleared a bit and just after noon we decided to return to the bridge and try our new found luck there. I was done for the day after another hour of flogging the water without any action but TS was determined to show me the pink worm production from a few days before was no fluke. He did manage a few small bass and some panfish, but the big fish were laying low now that the sun had come out and it had gotten hot.
It pretty much goes without saying that to effectively fish this area you have to be on the water. In the future we will likely end up renting a boat from the marina so we can access some of the expansive and productive weedbeds that line this river. Unlike the first trip here, we made the best of our opportunities and came away with smiles on our faces.