|Sunrise at The Homestead Cabin, High Lonesome Ranch|
While at the ranch, we stayed at The Homestead Cabin. It was a cozy 3 bedroom log cabin, a part of which was one of the original ranch buildings. It had been renovated, was very nice and very cozy. Within steps of the front door was a spring fed pond, small, but it did hold trout. Down the road a piece was a larger pond, part of the stream that traversed the valley. That pond was deep, with lots of edge where the moss and aquatic vegetation grows within inches of the water surface, creating great flats. Those edges and flats were prime hunting grounds for the trout that lived there. I fished this pond several times before breakfast. I typically used streamers here, but one particular morning I decided to try a hopper pattern.
This particular morning was the first since my mountain biking mishap. We were scheduled for some horseback riding. After breakfast, I accompanied Julie and the boys to the corral and snapped a few pictures while they got used to their horses. All of them had some riding experience and even though I was about to go fish, I really wanted to ride with them. There is just something about a women in boots and jeans…I guess that’s the Texan in me. Even Aaron, born in Texas, agreed. In fact, he stayed after they finished riding to help one of the young lady wranglers brush horses, put away tack and saddles and what not. Later in the week, one of the ranch staff remarked to me that Aaron must really have an interest in horses since he spent so much time helping. I thought to myself… “nope, he just had a lot of interest in that cute girl wearing boots and jeans!”
|"Hello, I'm Mr. Ed"|
|On the Trail|
I managed to get another hopper tied onto my leader and caught a couple of fair fish (fair here would be awesome back in NC). The fish pounded the hopper pretty good and I realized I didn’t have to strip strike the fish and the fish would run enough so that the slack line would disappear and I could play them off the reel. I thought at one point… “Sure wish I had one of those Martin automatic reels!”
|Cruising over the Moss|
My collar bone and right shoulder ached from the fight and the difficulty reaching down and releasing the fish. Before I released the fish, I did get a measurement… 22 inches, but more importantly I estimated about four pounds!
Whether you believe the size or not, it doesn’t matter. What was unique for me was the way this fish behaved…just like he was an Eno River largemouth from my own backyard. It was as if this fish was simply trying to make me feel at home because I was alone that morning, injured and concerned that the majority of the rest of my vacation would be spent sitting around doing nothing because of the broken collar bone.
I did spend the next 30 minutes just sitting; waiting for the pain to ease, reveling in this wonderful place. I looked up and there was a ranch vehicle bringing Julie and the boys back to the cabin. “How you feeling?” Julie asked.
“I’m fine…caught some fish,” I responded.
“You’re hard core…can’t believe you are fishing with a broken collar bone. Catch anything worth writing about?”
“Yep…a cutbow bass!”