I got a call at about 11:30 am while at my office. It was one of the old
geezers that I have given fish to before. He wanted to know if I was going
out fishing at noon? When I said that I was going to try he wanted to know
if he could have any fish I caught. I told him the chances of that seemed
to be slim as the lake is up about forty inches from the rain that fell last
Thursday night in this area and north of here. The flood gates were shut so
that the river would not overflow. This lake is a water source but also a
flood containment basin. The river was about a foot from overflowing at its
With the water up this much the settling pond and the main lake are
connected now. The water is so high that fish can swim through the culvert
that runs under the road. It has been ten or eleven years since that last
happened. The wind has blown a little harder than normal and that has kept
the water stirred up so that the sediment that came in with the rain has not
But it is noon time and there is no ice on the pond, so it is time to flog
the water. It is more fun that setting in the office over the noon hour.
When I got out to the lake it was till up, even though the water level has
dropped about a foot.
I decided to stand on the culvert and fish the settling pond. The wind was
from the west and was a gentle breeze. The county employees were mowing
the roadside and doing some other work along the road. In any case they
were making the grasshoppers fly and several of them landed in the pond.
This fish were attracted to these like bees to honey. I was bright enough
to tie on a hopper pattern and cast it out.
The rings were still settling when a green sunfish came out of the water and
took the hopper on the way down. I had been smart and cast just at the edge
of the weed bed to the right of the culvert. The old geezer told me that he
knew I could do it and put the fish in his bucket. I cast to the other side
and had a bass suck the hopper in when it hit the water. This fish turned
out to be about 18 inches long and liked to jump.
I alternated casting to the right and left sides of the culvert, also in how
far from the culvert and how far from the weed bed. I was trying not to
cast too far to disturb fish that might be willing to hit the fly. I was
getting bass from 12 to 18 inches on the fly. They sure liked that hopper
pattern. I was not getting any more panfish, but that changed on the next
I did one of my normal things and let the back cast go too far back and drop
too much. I know the rest of you have long since quit doing that. The line
caught on some grass, not enough to snag it, but enough to make the forward
cast fall short. The fly landed where I had hooked a bass before.
I was starting to retrieve the line when the gill came up and sucked the fly
down with a distinctive slurp. The old geezer told me it was time that I
caught another one and quit messing with the bass. I told him that if he
didn't like it to catch his own fish. He said that he did not want to show
I did have a thought when I caught this gill and decided to cast to the
other side in the area that I had covered before. I had another gill take
the fly with that slurping sound. I love it when they do that. I caught 6
more gills in the area that I had covered before. My guess is that the
gills were staying out of the way of the bass. After I caught the bass they
probably went off and sulked somewhere from being hooked. This removed the
competition for the gills and they could take the fly then. I don't know if
this is right but it sure sounds good.
To test it I cast off the left and caught another bass. I immediately cast
back there after releasing the bass and got another green sunfish. I did
this three more times before I ran out of time and had to go back to
work. I don't know when I might be able to try this again. I think part of
the pattern came because of the road work being done and all of the hoppers
flying onto the water.
Anyway it was fun to catch the fish and the old geezer was happy to be able
to have fish. He also might be my good luck charm.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick