I could not get out until Sunday afternoon
to go fishing. It was homecoming weekend at
the University and a very good friend had
died on Friday after a long illness. We went
out to help his wife with some things that
needed to be done on the house and then went
to the game to see some friends. By the time
all of that was over it was to late in the day
and a couple of other things came up.
I got everything done Sunday morning and got
to the pond about 2:00 PM in the afternoon.
The wind was blowing about 20 mph and the
water was dingy. There is a fence across part
of the pond and cows had been in the pond on
the other side of the fence. The riled up water
was driven across the pond by the wind. This is
the only water for the 150 head of cattle in the
This is not the best of conditions, but it is
also somewhat of a challenge. I got everything
into the canoe and got out onto the pond. I had a
nymph pattern on the one rod and decided to see
how far down in the water it was visible to me.
I could see it down about 18 inches. The pond
runs east and west. The wind was coming out of
the west, across the shallow end of
the pond, keeping the water stirred up.
I decided to go down by the dam and then head west
on the pond to see where I might find fish.
I dropped the front anchor, courtesy of Joe Hyde,
and then the back anchor and I was set. I cast the
fly out a little ways, let it drop and then
started to slowly retrieve it. The fly had moved
about two feet when I saw a 10" bass come out of
the water with the fly in its mouth. The fish was
hooked and all I had to do was land it.
Being a little curious, I cast the fly about 15 feet
and started retrieving it after it had just settled
in the water column. This time I saw the bass come
up from underneath the fly, in a rush, and take it
so fast that he came out of the water. This was as
much fun as seeing fish jump out of the water and
take the fly on the way down. I caught a few more
bass around that area, before I got the first gill.
This fish was barely hooked.
I had been using a size 8 fly and decided to put on
a size 12 PTN that I had tied. I used some pheasant
tail that I had dyed red and red peacock herl to
tied this fly. I used regular pheasant tail for the
tail and body and then used the red for the wingcase
and for the thorax. I also had a small metal bead on
When I cast with the fly I had a lot of hits but I was
not catching anything. Time to see what was happening.
I made a short cast and pulled the fly in. I saw a gill
come up and hit the front of the fly, but was gone
before I could hook it. I cast again and started
bringing in the fly faster. This time I got the gill
when it came up to hit the fly, but it was barely hooked.
I had promised a few folks that I would try to get
them fish to feed visitors that they had in for
homecoming. I was not doing very well. I decided
to move up the pond a little on the south side as
the drop off is a little steeper on that side.
I started fishing in about 6 ft of water. When I
retrieved the fly that was less than a foot deep
in the water column and fairly fast I would have a
gill take it. With the bigger fly I would have more
bass than gills take it. Both of the flies had to
be moving fairly fast. I did try fishing deeper,
but that did not work.
This is what I think was happening. The muddy water
was only about two feet deep on the pond. The water
under this was clear. As the fly came by the
fish could see it against the bright sky. With the
fly being so high in the water column, it need to
move about as fast as the waves were going so that
it would look more natural.
After I had caught a fair number of fish, I began
to play. I tied on a couple of soft hackles and
caught fish on those. I also tried a few other
flies and caught some fish on each of them, as
long as the fly was moving fairly fast. Moving
the fly slower or letting it drop deeper just
did not produce many fish.
This turned out to be a fun day. Had over 50 gills
to fillet and tossed at least that many bass back in.
I may get some feathers from a few people because
I gave them fish.
Hope you can get out on the water.