Season's Best of Show
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Bleeding Shiner in full regalia
I've had some great trips and excellent fishing this year, but my hopes of really mastering the local shiners and other micros was frustrated by the heavy rains in the spring and through most of the summer. This fall as things have dried out I've gotten back to some of the places that were so productive during the Killer Bugger Challenge last year. Alas, no new species but I caught several excellent examples of some previous types.
Brush Creek in the Birdsong CA is full of fish and mostly full of Bleeding Shiners. This guy is the king of the hill in full breeding colors and too big for the photo tank.
This nice sized shiner looked much more solid silver than it does in the photo. I think it's a Striped Shiner. I've caught them there before. I was just excited it wasn't another bleeding shiner. Sounds like I'm complaining in a British pub.
This is the second Redear sunfish I've caught and the only one I got a picture of. I spent every spare moment for a week last year trying to get one of these for the Challenge to no avail. It was fitting that I caught it on a Black Killer Bugger. I've since learned that Redears look down when they hunt while Bluegill look up. You've got to put it on the bottom.
“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