While waiting to be able to fish for larger species, I decided to fish for the species I could see. I always wanted to catch a Central Mudminnow and a Brook Stickleback ever since I first discovered they were extremely common in my local creek. I've tried a few times before and had alot of Sticklebacks bite but didn't have small enough hooks.
This year, I was anxiously looking for suckers in the creek and didn't see any, so I then tried to see if I could spy some Stickleback or Mudminnow. I spotted some Stickleback and I tried catching them with my new ultralight combo and tiny fly hook (not sure what size but I didn't want to buy special micro hooks and wait days/weeks? for them to arrive) with little piece of garden worm. It was impossible for me to sneak up on them without them spooking, so I just put my line on top of them (most had already been scared downstream) and could tell that my hook was still much to large to catch one. I thought to myself that the only fish I could possibly catch with this hook anytime soon out of this creek was one of the large Central Mudminnow that are so common yet so evasive around here.
I had put a minnow trap in the creek, as I do every year, a few days ago and I always catch Mudminnow and Stickleback this way. I found the trap to have 6 Stickleback and 2 Mudminnow. Then, I spooked a few Mudminnow as I waded downstream in my boots. I was mad because these were sizable fish and I knew I could have caughten one with that hook.
Today, I checked my trap to find alot of Mudminnow, 2 Stickleback, and a White Sucker (I was glad to see one because I had not seen a wild one since last fall) around 5 inches long. Then, I searched for Stickles and Mudminnow with little success. I was just going to go home like I was planning, but something told me I had to go downstream, on the other side of two culverts/roads (not as far as it sounds, you could run there in under a minute if there were no trees and other creek obstructions) to where all the big fish usually spawn.
I jumped down off the bank and waded to the spot where I had actually gotten nibbles from small fish earlier. This is a hole about 5 feet long 4 feet wide and 3-4 feet deep with dark water off the main flow so the water is still like a pond. Half of this still had snow over it so it created a cave for fish to hide.
So I didn't scare the fish, I knelt down back far enough that I could still have the rod tip above the bait. Almost as soon as the line was in the water, Stickleback started hammering it. But they were too small to hook. I needed something just a little bigger. I checked the worm piece to see if it was still secure on the hokk, then dropped the ling back in. I jiggled it up and down with little taps on the rod in an area were I could see it good. Then, I moved it into the blacker water and had Stickleback around it when I saw a large Mudminnow, which must have been hiding in the mud under the bank, dart out to where I was jigging the worm piece. I moved the rod tip slowly back over that spot and the fish lunged at it. I didn't want to set the hook to hard so I just sharply lifted the rod and a nice mudminnow was flipping around on my hook! I then swung it towards me and it wriggled free of the hook and almost got back in the water had I not quickly grabbed it. I was so exited to have finally caughten this well-known finned friend of mine on a hook and line!
Sorry for that being extremely long.
Hopefully the suckers will be in soon so I can catch some larger fish.
I will have pictures soon.