Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sawhill visual bounty and a few decent fish

Rolling into the post spawn pattern I hit Sawhill under humid conditions. Rain has been pounding this area nearly every day. The foliage is lush and the ground for the most part is wet. The water on Pond 1 looked rough but a number of bass small bass were grouping up in the shallows. They were hammering a school of 4” bluegill. One toss out with the 4” senko and bam! Nabbed this little skunk beater. Worked the area with a few more casts. Pulled in nothing but weeds.

(Above: Here’s a little 13’er chunk that hammered the black and blue senko.)

The wildflowers are busting out all over the place. I don’t remember a time where Sawhill has had this level of early summer foliage. The variety of wildflowers is in full swing right now and a visual feast requiring only a small stroll along the dirt trails. Even a fishaholic like myself can appreciate the lushness of these rainy conditions.

(Above: I have identified most of the flowers that were photographed except this one.)

A few of the trail sections are becoming overgrown or flooded. One of my shortcut trails had completely over grown with foliage. And one low-lying trail had completely flooded over. The amount of humidity, the thick matte of bugs in the air and the heavy amount of bird species that dwell in this area combined to give this run a “Tropical Thunder” motif.

(Above: This is another plant I am not sure of. It looks like wild rose mingled with a tree but that is probably not the accurate identification. If you can answer these questuions for me...please shoot me a mesage or comment on this article.)

Fish action gets tougher by the day at Sawhill and other places as we move out of spawn mode. The bass will get more selective with a bounty of food sources becoming more plentiful. The weed growth will get thicker by the day as well. Algae moss accumulates in heavy amounts and all of this together makes fishing all that much more of a struggle. This is part of the challenge for a lot of ponds and lakes in Colorado.

The moss and weedbed is an ally and a nemesis when fishing. The muck is hard to fish through but creates habitat for baitfish which turn into ambush points for predator fish. Out of the corner of my eye I spot a 14'er bass looking for a snack. A cast with the senko a few feet away from the fish...swim the bait slowly towards the weed line and BAM! Decent fish...not keeper class but raises spirits.

(Above: It seemed like the smaller bass were clobbering the lure and the big bass were sleepy. )

More foliage...It seemed that I could not take a step without being knee deep in amazing plant life. Some of which was more hospitable than others.

(Above: This is the invasive species “Bull Thistle” Not the friendliest plant that I have ever stumbled into.)

(Above: Wild rose…these flowers resemble the domestic variety somewhat and abundant in a lot of Colorado wildlife areas.)

Now what I have not mentioned yet is the mosquitoes. Most of the time there were swarms of blood sucking little vampires constantly buzzing me while I fished. The sun would occasionally open up and help keep them from massing, but most of the time these bugs were in random squad formation in an attempt to drain me dry. Not the worst case of mosquitoes that I have ever seen but definatelty something worth mention. They laughed at my first coating of Off spray after mere minutes. Next trip that spray bottle will go in the tackle bag for repeat doses as needed. Not a big fan of bug sprays so I only use them in situations where I know these micro-vampires exist in large numbers.

I started taking pictures of the foliage at the start of the trip just for the heck of it. As the walking continued the trip turned into a botany experiment of sorts. Usually you get one or two species of foliage in bloom. Right now everything is in "exploding" mode.

(Above: Western Blue Flax, this flower often grows in patches in areas that have decent shade or moisture.)

(Above: Bonus angle shot of the wild rose in bud form.

Not all plants are beautiful and harmless. Poison nettle and many thorned varieties are in abundance out here at Sawhill and other Colorado wildlife areas. In drier times a person could bushwack pretty much anywhere. Now an angler will struggle on the single file trail areas on the side and back sections. Caution with nearly every step is prudent.

(Above: Scarlet Globemellow, from a distance this looks a bit like the Indian Paintbrush but on closer inspection it is just as cool.)

You would walk into areas with so many flowers of aromatic types that the air smelled very sweet. You couldn't re-create this nasal sensation even with a natural perfume shop run by hippies. Seriously...it was that awesome. A pleasure for all of the senses

(Above: Yellow Salsify)

(Above: More Scarlet Gobemellow)

There were some more foliage pictures that didn’t turn out or I felt weren’t worth mention in the post. I run out of steam after a few hours of this stuff so this will just have to suffice. My obsession with fishing is severe but there is still enough time to stop and smell the roses or wildflowers as the case may be.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

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