Post by hankinsfly on Aug 13, 2017 13:41:24 GMT -6
Met my buddy and his son and two of his friends for a going-away trip on the Baron Fork near Tahlequah. Big lightning and rain leaving OKC at 5am. His son is soon to start his first year of college on a track scholarship. The Baron Fork is an awesome river. The storms veered off southeast and left us dry, save for a few periods of very light right. Caught some smallies, and continue to be humbled by them. Did better on this trip than in Arkansas recently. Still searching for that 18", but caught a few that fought hard. Biggest was about 14". The boys fished poppers all day and did well in the morning. I had several chasers but few eats early on streamers. Smallies were busting baitfish on top all over the place. I had one chaser that would definitely had been my 18", easy. Finally switched to small popper and caught a few. I didn't get a picture of this flat, but it was beautiful. Wide, medium-slow current, knee-to-thigh deep. Crystal clear. We had plenty of cloud cover, adding to our advantage. Fished hard, broke for lunch, then hit the river again. We caught lots of wild, river largemouths as well. You should see these smallmouth breaking surface, chasing baitfish. I could not get any of these to eat or even see my streamer. It is a single fish quickly chasing and popping on top, and I could make no discernible point to cast to as they were circling around and disappearing as soon as they came up. I could catch no fish that I sight fished to. Again, humbling, but this is what keeps me thrilled to fish to these wild, hill country treasures. None of the youngsters were interested in camping (apparently there was a party at Grand Lake), so they went home. I had about two hours of daylight left so I went to check out the Illinois up at Peavine. Water was perfect, had a little stain to it and would have been a good level to float. I fished down to the first shoal from the public access and took my biggest smallmouth here, a strong 14" on a craft fur Clouser at the corner of tailout of the shoal. Might be my last chance to chase smallies this year, but I will be looking forward to the next. I'd like to plan out an Okie smallmouth tour next spring and start at Flint Creek, head down to the Illinois, Baron Fork, Upper Mountain Fork, and the Glover. Following are some pictures.