Close but no gar.
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Greetings. Thanks for all the effort you've put into organizing the Challenge. I'm into it much more than I thought I'd be. The Challenge is about caught fish, no pic no fish, and I don't want to be a whiner but I gotta tell you this one.
After the black crappie I had another great spot planned for white bass and maybe a catfish. Nothing, the sunfish weren't even biting.
I headed back to the city and stopped by Indian Creek near Stateline Road not far from my house. There's some pools and falls and riffles and a lot of fish. I figured a few bluegill would help me feel better. I caught two, so only a little better.
I was about to leave when an 18-20 inch shortnose gar came cruising by about eight feet from where I was standing on a rock shelf six feet from shore. I had a #12 beadhead bugger on the 33SF. The fly was in front of the fish but nothing happened. When the fly moved the fish came with it. I sped up the motion slightly and the gar took it. I set the hook and things got sporty, jumps, a tail walk and much charging about. Most surprising was the fact that the hook held through all of that.
The Kiyose was perfect. On one hard run I rotated the rod sideways and it turned the fish instantly.
Proudly prepared, I whipped out my Shimano folding net to finish things up.
Cue the Benny Hill saxophone music. The problem was the fish was too long for the net. But since I'd put that big brown in a Traillite, I figured things would work out. On the third try the fish was in the net and the net was out of the water.
At this point the fly finally came loose. The gar stood straight up on its tail with his head up high and went over the side of the net like a snake. Gone.
Like most complicated endeavors you usually discover the overlooked details and the missing knowledge at the most unfortunate moments.
Another thing, trout are sissies. Gar resuscitation is not a issue.
I've hooked five gar in the past year and got one to my feet, none in a net till now. I really wanted that fish and even more because of the contest. I can't believe I care this much about this stuff.
I've had a good start but the micro guys are going to walk away with things once they get their rigs sorted out. My only hope is to get back to Brush Creek. Thanks again even the bad stuff's good.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma