Panfish

NEW PATTERNS DAY

Rick Zieger - Jun 30, 2014

This is the only day in about 13 days that I can be on a pond; an experience not to be missed. So the 1 weight and a boo rod get into the truck. I had a fly box that had some patterns that I had found this winter and tied. This seemed to be a good time to try them.

I headed to a pond that I have received an invitation to fish. The owner takes some bass out and wants panfish taken out to help balance the pond. I am happy to help him. He did tell me when I saw him that some other folks would be coming out to the pond.

I headed out and got to the dam. On this pond I would fish across the dam and then up the shore line. The one side of the pond has several trees not allowing casting. I hiked through those trees to get to the dam.

I opened the fly box, closed my eyes and picked out a fly. I tied it on the boo rod and then did the same thing for the fly on the 1 weight. I made some casts with each fly and managed to get two fish on each fly at this place. I decided to change flies and try again but I did not get any more fish.

I moved about 30 feet and tried again. I picked up a few fish on each of the flies I had on at this place. I tried a few other flies at this spot and got nothing. I even tried the first flies I had on and got nothing. Seems there were four or five fish in an area and that was it.

I moved again and picked up a few more fish. I changed flies and got another fish on each fly. Nice to know that what I thought might be good patterns was working out. At this point the other folks showed up and started fishing in front of the trees. It's easier to cast spinning gear around trees than a fly line. But they don't catch the size trees that I do.

I moved down the pond again until I knew I was near a brush pile. This pile sets in about 8 feet of water. It is about 4½ feet in height. It is a fairly loose pile of brush. I was sure some fish would be around this. History has proved this to be true. I caught a few fish on each of the flies I had on so I changed to other flies. One was a pattern I found that is reported to be a great trout fly. I cast it out and let it drop. As I started to retrieve the line it had resistance. I set the hook a had a nice bluegill. The fish was energized and did not want anything to do with the ugly dude on the bank. It was great fun on the 1 weight.

I made another cast and brought the fly in without a take. I made another cast that ended up in the area where the first fish took the fly. I saw the line go down and had another nice gill on the line. Another energized fish. A young lady across the pond asked if she could come over and watch. The other folks were not catching fish. I invited her to come over. While she was walking around the pond I got a few more fish. I did figure out that if the fly came in just above the top of the brush pile a fish would probably take it. Not that all of them were landed.

When the young lady got to where I was she was excited to see fish being caught. In talking to her I found that she had never been fishing. She had come out hoping to catch a fish. I had her come down and stand by my left side. I cast the fly out and let it drop a little. I did a few small strip [of the fly] and had a fish hit it. I handed the rod to her and told her to reel it in. I am not sure who had more fun; her reeling it in or my watching her doing it. But she had fun getting it in.

On the next cast I had her watch how I reeled the line to make strips and pauses. Another fish hit so I let here reel it in. I wish I had a video. On the next cast I handed it to her and told her to reel it in with the pauses. She hooked another fish and had a ball bringing it in.

Over the next half hour she caught another eight fish. I would cast out and let her retrieve it in. I then fished with the other rod. When I got my line in, I would set it down and cast the rod she had.

I was curious and let the fly drop one time just as it was passed the brush pile. I had a fish hit, but lost it. I lost six more fish, before getting a crappie to shore. I ended up with three more crappie out of the many that hit the fly. The young lady was having a ball. She finally said that she needed to join her friends again. They had hoped to get a few fish to use in a recipe her roommate had. I asked if they had some sort of basket or something for fish. They had a line stringer that another of the group brought over. They put her fish on that stringer and left. She told me that she had a ball and is not a confirmed fishing nut. I gave here the fly she had caught the fish on.

I was still getting fish to hit when I saw the black storm cloud building. I was time to head home. I got my fish taken care of and the guts buried in the garden. I had just finished rinsing the fillets off when the rain hit. Anyone outside got soaked.

I had a great time at this pond. It was so much fun to watch and hear the joy of someone who has just started catching fish.

Hope you can get out on the water.
Rick

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