Publisher's Note: The following article was written this past summer..
I was late getting out Saturday. I was helping
with my third house moving of the week in the
morning. At times it is not a good idea to have
a pickup. We got all the stuff moved except for
little pictures and a few other small things.
By the time I got home and got every thing loaded
it was almost noon. I filled two water bottles and
headed out. I was heading to a pond that I had not
been to this year. On Thursday night I received a
call from the land owner telling me that he was
going to pump water out of the pond to water his
cattle. He said to come in and catch fish as the
water volume would be down significantly.
When I got to the pond, I saw the water was down
about 8 feet. This meant that about 40% of the pond
surface area was gone. Places that I had fished over
before was now a sea of mud. The only place I could
launch the canoe was one spot at the end of the dam
where the water still came to the edge.
It was a rare day as the wind was not blowing. The
water was as flat as glass. I decided to tie on foam
spiders and see what I could do. Tied a black one on
the first rod and cast it out to set. I had seen a
few grasshoppers around the pond and thought that
the other spider should be yellow.
I cast it out and started to set the rod down. A
big gill came up and sucked the fly in. He cut some
fancy curves and didos before I could get him in.
The black foam spider was still setting there. I
cast the yellow one out again and let it set. In
a short time it was sucked under again. This time
it took a little longer to get the gill in as he
stayed broadside the whole time. At this time I
brought the other spider in and changed it from
black to white and cast it out again.
Nothing happened with the white one either, but
the yellow continued to claim the attention of
the gills. I switched the other fly through green,
brown and orange foam bodies. Nothing worked as
well as yellow. I finally tied another yellow bodied
spider on and cast both of them out. I had several
times that I missed fish because I was landing one
when the other spider was hit. A nice problem to
have but I did get a few doubles. It is an awkward
thing to strip line in on two fly rods at the same
time. In doing this I was landing about one of eight
fish that hit the flies.
I would keep trying to hook the other fish and in
the process lost both of them more often than not.
I finally settled down to one rod. I did see some
activity in the weeds about 40 feet away from me
and decided to cast down around them to see what
might be happening. I had moved the fly about two
inches when the water opened up and the fly
disappeared. I did pause for a second before I sat
the hook. I had a bass that went ballistic. Jumped
five times before I got her in. I measured her at
just less than 24 inches long. Returned her to the
pond to battle again another day.
At this point the wind came up and the surface
action stopped. I decided to try some subsurface
flies to see what I might be able to do. I opened
up a couple of boxes to see what I had and decided
to try one of my experiments. I had tied a Hares Ear
with rubber legs, tied Madam-X style, and peacock
herl for the thorax with some brown deer hair as a
wing. I saw something like this some place on the
net and decided it was time to try something like
this. I had it tied with yellow, black, white,
green, brown and orange rubber legs. Since yellow
had worked, I decided to tie that one on first.
I cast it out and was going to let it settle when
I saw the line twitch so I sat the hook. I had
another nice gill. I did notice as I was bringing
this fish in that there were several more around
him. When I unhooked him, I made a short cast and
stated to strip the line in with a small pull and
pause retrieve. The fly-had moved about three times
when it was smashed. This was a huge gill. This one
measured 11 3/4 inches long and was almost that in
vertical height. This one had to go back into the
pond. She has the genetics that will help keep the
I caught another dozen fish before the fly was too
tattered to use anymore. I decided to try some of
the other flies with the other colored legs. I
would catch a rare fish but nothing like I had
caught before. Even I learn after a time so I
tied on another yellow legged fly and went back
to catching fish.
I did look down one time and saw several fish
swimming about two feet down in the pond. I am
sure that I saw at least 200 fish in that one
school, and managed to catch a few of them. At
this point my fish basket was darn near full
and I decided that I would head home. Getting
out of this pond was a little fun as there were
not many places to get out either that would let
me get the front of the canoe onto the bank so
I could get out.
I had just finished loading everything when the
land owner came in. He stopped to see how I had
done. When I showed him the basket, he was amazed.
He told me to come back again next Saturday because
the pond is going to have to go down a lot further.
He wants the fish to be caught out and not just die.
I told him that I thought I could help.
He said that they had a group of people visiting
and wished he had time to catch fish for them to
eat. I made him a deal. If he would help me clean
them then I would give him enough for a meal. We
headed to his house and he got his knife out and
we settled down to clean fish.
I gave him 80 fish for his group to eat. There were
45 people there and they thought that would be enough.
I took another 61 home with me. I have to tell you that
I caught these in two hours.
It was a fun day and I am going to hit the pond
again next Saturday, but I expect I might have
to use some thing that is not yellow.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick