Sunday, May 1, 2016


This past week was brutal at work and the bright spot on my schedule was a trip with Jeff Scoggin of TRIBE to a small hidden away local creek near the edge of South Carolina.  Jeff has a long history with this slender blue line that reaches way back into his childhood, so you can bet that he knows his way around.

It may technically be spring but it was still a degree or three over 90 when I arrived at Jeff's house to shake hands and then move gear over to his FJ Cruiser.  Jeff mentioned that even though the creek was only 20 minutes or so from the house, that it would be 10 or 15 degrees cooler at the creek.  This was going to be welcome for sure. 

Once we arrived at the trail we pulled on our wading boots, each grabbing glass four weight fly rods, and made our way down the trail and steep bank to the river.  Jeff was right, as we walked into the creek, the water was warm but still cool enough to be refreshing.  The air temperature was down a few ticks as well.  Even if we hadn't caught a thing that evening I was already content and could feel the madness of the week wash downstream.

There are quite a few species of fish in this creek, which range from bluegills to gar, but the two native sons that we were looking for were the Redbreast sunfish and the Bartram's bass, also known as the Redeye bass.  Bartram's bass is only found in a handful of watersheds and are truly something special.  It only took a few casts of an olive legged streamer and there was a sharp tug on the other end of a small bass war painted in shades of vivid green.  My evening was made with this one good fish.

The next three or four hours were full of rises and takes on big little foam flies and small streamers.  We caught more Redbreast sunfish than Redeye bass but that was more or less expected.  The over saturated colors of the sunfish look like someone went crazy with an Instagram filter but that's just the way they look.  They are each coolored up and eager to move to fly.

I carried my Nikon with the "nifty 50" lens and grabbed quite a few images.  There are a few more images than usual in this post but this creek had so many looks that I just can't help myself.  Click on any image to see in a larger format.  I hope you enjoy.

This won't be the last time that I persuade Jeff to make this trip and in the meantime, be sure that you're following his website, TRIBE.  It's one of the good ones and he should have a few images and blog post go up in the next few days to get his side of the evening session together.


spike said...

Two paws up! Oberon ... Pretend it is summer. Fire in wood stove here in MI this morning.

CH said...

Great post! Down here in NW FL we have longear sunfish and Choctaw bass that occupy a similar niche to the redbreasts and redeyes. Creek bass on foam dries and glass is the absolute BEST! This made my day!Thanks for posting.

Unknown said...

Awesome post, great pictures, beautiful setting. TFM is largely responsible for the CGT 2wt I just picked up, so i was happy to see a warmwater report with a CGR in it haha. I'm here in AL, so redeyes and redbreast are local for me too. I haven't caught a redeye yet, but i've gotten some psychedelic sunfish!

RalphsFlyBox said...

That looks like a perfect day on perfect water. I don't believe you left without me?! LOL

Also good to see a CGR on the water. Great report and thanks for sharing.

Middlemac said...

Great post.. I spy a Martin... ;)

Show Me Fly Guy said...

You are a HECK of a photographer buddy. Amazing pictures and beautiful fish. Great post!

Cameron Mortenson said...

spike... I used to be really upset that I moved away from Michigan but shorts twelve months a year ain't so bad.

CH... Thank you, Sir. Natives are the best.

Chris Lynch... Get out there and get your redeye on.

Ralph... HA... Next time.

MM... Oh yes. Martin in full effect.

SMFG... The trick is a 50mm lens and taking 400 images to get a couple dozen that look alright. HA...

Jason said...

I read a couple articles that maintain that the Bartram Bass is genetically distinct from the Redeye Bass. There was some debate about whether it was a different species. I'm not sure what came of that though.