Category Archives: Alabama Freshwater

A Weekend Fishing Lake Mitchell, Alabama

Landon Eating Burgers Cooked on GroundWhen a son comes of age, his spirit seeks adventure beyond the four walls of home.  As a father, I couldn’t be more honored to be his guide in exploration of new territory shoulder to shoulder.  From the moment I asked him if he’d be interested in coming with me to Lake Mitchell, Alabama for some camping and fishing, he radiated an excitement that will always be vivid in heart and mind.  We fathers can learn from our sons.  They remind us of a desire to be a man from a young age, and when we encourage them to explore in healthy bounds beyond where they’ve been before, amazing growth can occur in their own lives and in our relationship with them.

Landon and Dad Fishing    Landon and I made our way to a Lake Mitchell Alabama Forever Wild primitive campsite where we enjoyed the shelter of towering box elder trees in the warm afternoon and eating dinner cooked over a blazing fire on the ground with friends later in the cooling evening air.  We paddled out onto fog covered water early Saturday morning and fished until sunset the evening before.

Landon Portrait CanoeWe encouraged one another after each of us saw the big one break away from the grip of hook and line, and later laughed at our follies that make long lasting memories.  We landed a few fish too, and thanked the good Lord for allowing us to enjoy his creation in hand.

Landon First Spotted Bass_11_25 in

Landon with his first ever Alabama spotted bass

As we slipped up a small tributary leading to the lake, we discovered a boulder strewn shoal that Landon enjoyed wading through while casting into seams and eddies swirling with possibility.

Landon Shoals

Landon wading the shoals

While Landon caught spotted bass on a white plastic swimming shad lure, I caught a couple spots on a white and chartreuse clouser minnow fly accented with red eyes.

Aaron Rubel with Spotted Bass

Photograph by: Landon Rubel           Angler: Aaron Rubel

Not foremost in our minds as we sought to just enjoy the out of doors together, the Coosa Canoe & Kayak Fishing Tournament Trail event on Lake Mitchell was scheduled this same weekend.  The tournament trail is a catch, photo, and release format whereby participation of anglers from around the region has contributed over $10,000 to the Coosa Riverkeeper, a non-profit watershed conservation organization that seeks to improve the quality of the Coosa River system.  I’ve enjoyed participating in the cause and meeting other anglers from across Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee that travel to fish these outstanding lakes and streams of the Coosa River watershed.

Landon and Dad Lake Mitchell Open

Photo Courtesy of the Coosa Riverkeeper

Landon won a book entitled “Fishes of Alabama” donated by the Alabama Nature Conservancy and I was fortunate to win the fly fishing category of the tournament sponsored by Deep South Outfitters of Birmingham, Alabama.

Spotted Bass Release

Photograph by: Landon Rubel, Releasing a spotted bass

Landon Kissing Spotted Bass

The joy of a son…and a father’s pride


Copyright 2015 by and Coosa Riverkeeper.  All rights reserved

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Fly Fishing Early Spring in Lower Mobile River Delta


Mobile Delta 1Spent a beautiful afternoon on the lower Mobile River Delta today.  The contrast  between winter hungover Cyprus trees draped in Spanish moss, early spring blooming flowers, and palm lined backwater creek banks framed a tranquil backdrop.  Quaint river boat homes welcome anglers into a time warp of earlier and more simple times.

Mobile Delta 2Enjoyed spending a few hours on the water with a friend, Stacey Martin, who has depth of experience on the backwaters of the Mobile River Delta.

Mobile Delta 3We caught a couple bass and spooked 3 alligators totaling 25ft in length from their early spring slumber.

Mobile Delta 4A great fly to use in early spring is a gurgler fly pattern, which will bring out the predatory instincts of bass that reside in backwater creeks within the lower Mobile River Delta.


Mobile Delta 5

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved

Bream Brings New Life!

Photo Credit: Leon Leggett
Angler: Aaron Rubel

Realization of a torn shoulder labrum six months ago put fishing on hold for awhile.   Recovery is led by maintaining a dedicated workout regimen.  The eventual reward is long needed therapy on the water.

Leon, a friend and fellow Eastern Shore Fly Fishers’ club member, invited me out to fish for some Mobile Bay area bream and bass some time ago.  Clearance from the doctor gave opportunity to take Leon up on the generous offer to explore a local tidal tributary together.

It’s amazing what a couple hours of casting a fly in beautiful surroundings will do for the mind, soul, and body!

Photo Credit: Leon Leggett
Angler: Aaron Rubel

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved

Chain Pickerel in the Grass

I went out for a different kind of adventure on the fly in Hobie kayaks a couple weeks ago.  The Chain pickerel is definitely a fish I will be pursuing in the future.

Click here to about it in an article published by Kayak Angler Magazine Online entitled “Snakes in the Grass”

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved