Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beautiful Fish

It's August and the weather is still hot; however, the oppressive heat wave has broken.  Oh, by the way, today is my loving bride's birthday.  I seem to recall her saying something about 29 or something like that.  I've lived long enough to not say anything more (although I do think she's just as pretty today today as she was the first time I saw her many years ago and, yes, it was love at first sight) so - Leslie, happy birthday!

Last weekend, I managed to slip out and do some fishing. I went over to Indiana and fished Laughery Creek.  Laughery has some smallmouth but I wouldn't call it a major smallie stream.  However, it is chock full of some of the most beautiful fish that swim in fresh water - the Longear Sunfish.

So, last weekend, I took Friday off and played hookie from work (oh by the way, yesterday was my 30th anniversary on my job).  I loaded up the car and headed off to the great state of Indiana with my trusty Scott G2 3wt (8'4").  No, this isn't an advertisement for Scott rods, I just happen to really like this rod and it's perfect for a stream full of longers.

With the heat and lack of rain over the past couple weeks, the creek was warm and low but Laughery is a very fertile stream.  Most of it is limestone bed with sand and gravel bottoms.  It flash floods several times a year which keeps too much silt from settling on the bottoms.  In other words, a near perfect stream for fishing these little gems.

The only issue with this stream is access.  Most of it runs through private property and some landowners are a bit cranky.  There are some areas I'd love to fish but it runs through some areas where the landowners would most likely shoot first and ask questions later.  Too bad Indiana is one of those states where the landowner actually owns the stream bed.  Oh well, access rights, stream bed ownership and ever limited places to fish are issues that I have neither the time nor energy to talk about this morning.

Back to fishing, I do have access to a couple areas on the stream so I hit the water with nymphs, woolie worms, and poppers in hand.  Finding a few pools of about waste deep water, I started looking for areas where longears hang out.  This sunfish likes slower current and weed beds or some vegitation.  Looking toward the middle of the pool where I was standing, I saw a gravel point jutting out into the water and it was covered with some type of weeds sticking up out of the water.  Having caught fish off of this gravel bar before, I was pleased to see the spring floods had left it alone. 

From this one spot, I managed to bring 8 or 9 longears to hand.  Most were small like the ones in these photos.

Some were a bit larger but all were very pretty fish.  I do think these guys are some of the prettiest fish that swim in fresh water.  I rank them right up with the brook trout.

Moving on upstream a bit, I saw a rocky ledge with a bunch of loose rocks on the floor of the stream.  This area was about waist deep but with the low water was still one of the deeper areas.  This type of bottom is not where I catch a lot of longears, but the green sunfish seem to like hiding down in the rocks and attacking anything that floats overhead.  They did not disappoint.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day out fishing.  I didn't have to work (Yea), I got to wade in one of my favorite streams, and I managed to bring about a dozen pretty fish to hand.  I was able to sit next to the stream and smoke a fine cigar.  Looking back, I can't think of many better ways to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hope you all are catching fish and staying cool.


  1. Just found your blog. I have read some of your posts and really enjoyed the reads. I am going to join your blog, because I think our blogs parallel each other. If you would like to join our group my blog link is

  2. Bill - Thanks. I just signed up to follow your blog too.

    Hopefully I can get some fishing in this week. It's still really hot and I have a lot of late evening meetings that are going to keep me busy through Wednesday.

    Stinks to have real life get in the way of fishing.