I was out at the lake on a Friday noon hour.
I was fishing the settling pond on the east
side of the lake and it was as smooth as glass.
I decided that this was a good time to go with
a popping bug. I do like to have fish hit on the
surface. I picked a red popping bug to start with.
This is because I had some fish hit the red shrink
wrap I had used to finish off making loops on a
couple of fly lines I have. They ignored the flies
but hit the red on the line.
After I got my first line that had a loop-to-loop
connection I was in love with them. I have changed
all my lines so that they have a loop end on them.
My friendly friend at the local Radio Shack Store
lets me buy just a few inches of shrink wrap each
time I need it. He has sold a ton of this stuff by
doing it this way.
I got out to a flat rock that is about one inch
above the water line but puts me about 6 feet
farther out than I had been before. This lets
me cast a little farther also as I don't hit
things on the back with the back cast as easily.
The weed edge is about 5 feet farther out from
where I am standing. There is an opening, about
12 feet wide, just in front of the drain pipe. I
am about five feet in front of the drain pipe
and just on the right side.
I decided to cast to the right and managed to
drop the popping bug about three feet from the
weeds about 12 feet from the opening. I always
make short casts first to see if there are any
fish close and then lengthen the casts. Too often
I have watched the wakes of other fish as they
spooked when I brought a hooked fish by them. I
had just twitched the bug when a nice gill took
the bug with the "nice slurping" sound. I did
manage to get the gill to head out toward the
center of the pond and then worked on landing him.
I had just got the gill in hand when I heard the
voice behind me saying, "If you aren't keeping
them then you need to feed an old geezer." I told
him that I was not sure if I would get any more,
but if I did then he was welcome to them. He had
his bucket with him so I swung the fish back and
he removed the hook.
I cast about 2 to 3 feet farther up the weed line
but nothing happened. I increased the length about
another 2 to 3 feet and had another gill inhale
the fly. This one wanted to be in the weeds so it
took a little longer to get him in. Again the old
geezer unhooked him and told me to get at it, I
was wasting time.
I decided to add about 5 feet to the next cast.
It landed and was immediately sucked under. This
fish headed for deeper water and did not want to
come in. The fish turned sideways and worked to
stay out. I kept some pressure on the fish and
finally got it to head to shore. It turned out
to be a large green sunfish, about 11 inches
long. This was the second largest one that I
have ever caught at this lake. The old geezer
had to use long nose plies to get the bug out
of the fish's mouth.
I decided to cast to the left because of the
commotion the last fish made during the fight.
I dropped the bug in a little depression in the
weed line. It was a picture perfect cast, a rare
event for me. The ripples had just disappeared
when I saw the gill come up and stop under the
bug. There was a great temptation to do something,
but I resisted. After about a minute I gave the
rod tip a little shake, just enough to move the
line, which just barely moved the popping bug.
The fish inhaled it and I had another nice gill
to add to the bucket.
My next cast was not as pretty as the previous
one. It ended up putting the bug about 15 feet
out from the weed line. I was trying to decide
whether to pick up the bug and cast again or
fish it there. A gill decided that for me as
she jumped out of the water and hit the bug
This does not happen very often on this body
of water. This fish was hooked before I could
do anything. It took the pliers to get the bug
I cast out again and tried to put the bug about
10 feet the side of where it had landed before.
I came within a country mile of that. Another
gill jumped on the bug after it had sat for
about 30 seconds. I repeated this four more
times to give the old geezer a nice mess.
I cast out one more time and when nothing
happened for a minute I started bringing in
the bug by making some popping sounds and
splashing some water. It had moved about
five feet when the water opened up and the
bug disappeared. More from shock than skill,
it took a few seconds to set the hook. But
it was the correct way to do it. I had a huge
bass on the line. The first thing the fish did
was take about 50 feet of line out. I then
slowly started to get some of the line back
and get the fish coming toward me. The fish
jumped three times and I knew that a couple
of cars had stopped to watch.
I was in the middle of the fight when a guy
came down and told me to give him the rod that
he was going to catch the fish. I told him that
was a nice joke, but that is not what was going
to happen. I would release the fish and he could
try for her another day. What happened next was
He kidney punched me. When that happened the fly
rod really jerked and the leader broke. I was mad
because he hit me and because I lost the fish for
a dumb reason. I don't like to leave hooks in fish
if I can help it at all. I turned around and he
told me that I deserved that to happen and swung
again. I dropped the rod, ducked his swing and
decked him. I then saw that another guy was trying
to take the fish from the old geezer. When I told
him to stop, he informed me that I should preform
a sexual act with myself. Talking time was over so
I went up and took the bucket from him in a less
than civil manner. I carried it to the old geezers'
car and got him on his way. I then went back and
got my two rods and headed for the pickup.
Just then one of the local cops came by and asked
what happened. When I told him, he said that I
could leave and not to worry. These two characters
had been bullying people all over the county. They
had just never been able to catch them. He also
said that there was a witness that said they had
I left but there was a sour taste to the day.
That behavior just does not fit in with fishing.
First real problem of the year. That is why I
spend most of my time on farm ponds.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick