Publisher's Note: This article was written
in June, of 2003.
I went out on my usual Saturday morning fishing
expedition. When I got to the pond, new to me,
there was a slight breeze and the water was a
little discolored from the rain we have received
lately. Unloaded the canoe and got everything ready
Started going around the pond and was catching a
random fish here and there. Some fish were shallow
and some were fairly deep. I kept moving slowly
along to see if I could figure out a pattern that
would work well and the method to use it.
I had been fishing for about twenty minutes when
the wind came up suddenly and forcibly. There was
a steady wind of about 30 mph with gusts up to 50
mph. The canoe started to rock, as I had the anchor
down, and the waves came close to coming into the
canoe. I pulled the anchor up fast and headed for
the shore. This is no place for someone who swims
like a rock.
I loaded the canoe onto the truck and put some of
the other stuff in the truck. I was not sure that
I wanted to head home this quickly. I could see
that on the far side of the pond the wind was not
as strong in one area where it had to come over
the trees. These trees are about thirty feet back
from the edge of the pond.
I headed for this spot with a fly rod in hand. There
is a little flat with about three feet of water that
goes out about eight feet and then it drops into about
eight feet of water. I thought if I could get flies
out near the breakline I might catch some more fish.
I had to turn so I was at a 45-degree angle to the
pond and do sidearm cast so I did not feed the "Tree
Gods" my flies.
On my third cast I had a fish hit. As I was bringing
it in, I kept feeling more jolts on the line. I could
not figure out what was going on. As I got it close,
I could see other fish hitting the side of the bluegill
that I had on. When I got it in, I saw that there was
a leech attached to the gills of the fish I had not
seen many leeches in this pond but I was ready for
I tied on a black leech pattern that is simple to tie
and works for me. I use a size 6 or 8 hook (Aberdeen)
and wrap the thread down the shank. I tie a marabou
feather on with a little of the tip past the bend. I
then wrap the feather up the hook. I palmer the thread
over the marabou feather to help support it and keep
it contained a little. I usually put a very small black
bead head on these. I have them in black, brown and red.
I cast this fly out and let it drop a little way and
then started a small strip pause retrieve.
The fly had moved about two feet when I had a solid
hit. The fish hit it going away and the hook was set
and the rod bent before I knew what was happening. It
was a huge bluegill. It measured 12.5 inches long and
had a huge girth. She was full of eggs, so I admired
for a few seconds and released her back into the pond.
Next cast I got a bluegill about ten inches long.
I was catching a fish on about every other cast.
One of the casts got out farther than I had wanted
it to go, the fun of casting in the wind. As I
started to retrieve, I saw the line twitch and set
the hook. I had a nice crappie on. This fish fought
harder and longer than I have had crappie fight
Being a crappie nut, I cast out about the same place.
The fly was still dropping when I saw the line twitch
again. It was a carbon copy crappie. I guess that this
second one put the rest of the school down for a while.
I moved down the shore a little ways and tried this
again. I would get gills near the shore and crappie
when I cast farther out. I figured out that I could
get five or six bluegills and two or three crappie
before I needed to move. The commotion they made in
coming in seemed to turn the other fish off.
I had been fishing for about an hour when the land
owner showed up to check his cattle that were on the
other side of the fence. He wanted to know what I
was catching. When I showed him, he was happy to
see some fish coming out. He told me to take a lot
because he was not ever finding any small fish. He
has watched the gills come up and strip the nests of
eggs, of the bass that are in the pond. He told me
that this pond had not been fished for at least
I told him that I would be happy to help with this
problem. He told me that neither he nor his wife
would be home later but where they had a key to
the house. I was to go ahead and go into the house
and leave the fish for them. I always take fish to
the land owner if I fish in their ponds. He told
me there would be mutiny if his wife did not get
fish for supper.
I am excited to get back to this pond when I can
spend more time in the canoe. Total for the days
was 38 bluegill and 25 crappie that I took home.
I released some large gills and all the bass
Hope you can get out of the water. ~ Rick