Challenge Sidetracked by Micro Replicas
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Chub Impersonating Minnow
A week ago I spent about four hours in Mill Creek working hard to get some new micros for the Killer Bugger Challenge. My setup was my Kurenai HM30R, no. 3 level line, 7X tippet and a beadhead size 26 killer bugger. The rod casts the nearly weightless fly beautifully and is just a pleasure to use regardless of the target.
I cast to every small fish I saw in the clear water. Unfortunately they were mostly algae eaters who weren't interested or little sunfish. When I caught a few pretty little tan and black minnows I was sure I had my new species. Even though they looked almost, nearly exactly like blountnosed minnows, it turns out they were baby creek chubs.
On the way back to the truck I stopped at a little drainage ditch and caught even smaller versions of all the fish I'd already caught.
A bad day for the Challenge but a good day for micro fishing in a beautiful stream. It felt really good to finally have my micro technique start to come around. Also, I'm getting used to using the clear photo tank. It is a great accessory. Drop the fish in as soon as comes out of the water, hook and all. Bend down and fill it with water and the fish is in good shape (if not happy) while you mess with the photo. The pictures will be better because the fins will be extended. You can take a shot through the end to record the shape of the mouth-- very important in micro identification, I've learned the hard way.
The little bluegill, less than 2", is so young it's translucent. You can see the gut sack and the entire fly inside it's head.
In the picture with the rod note that I'm holding it with only my little finger.
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