I waited until Sunday afternoon to go
out fishing. Saturday the wind was blowing
at 40 mph steadily with gusts up to 55 mph.
Not only is it hard to cast in that wind,
but it is not safe to be out in the canoe.
In the late afternoon the wind began to
slow down, but we were involved in other
Sunday morning dawned clear and there was
no wind. We did our normal things for Sunday
and managed to get home fairly early. At 1:45 PM
I was at the pond. This is a pond I have not
fished for a couple of years. I have to cross
a field to get to it and the landowners were
having a fight about that and I stayed out of
it. I have to open a gate and go about 100 feet
to get to the pond. I finally got permission to
cross the land, after I ask the owner each time.
As I pulled up to the pond, it was glassy smooth.
No wind. Then the interest was perked. Three
different places on the pond and fish boiled on
the surface or just under the surface, but the
water was disturbed. It took longer to unload
the canoe and get everything into it, I kept
watching the pond and the fish moving in the water.
I finally got out onto the water and started
casting with a Hares Ear Nymph on one rod and
a Skip Morris Panfish in red and yellow on the
other rod. After several casts and nothing
happening it was time to change flies. I
went to a black marabou leech and a yellow
The yellow nymph did nothing after several
casts. I switched and cast the black leech.
The fly had just hit the water and I had a
fish on. As soon as this fish felt the hook
it headed down in the water column. A gill
sideways under six feet of water is a blast.
On the next cast I had another fish hit and
when I set the hook the gill came out of the
water. The hook set was not that hard, just
the gill going ballistic. On the
second jump the hook came out.
Just as I was bemoaning losing the fish the
line tightened and I had another gill on the
fly. This one went deep also. I had a 4 lb
leader on so I did not want to put too much
pressure on the fish to bring it up. There was a
nice bow in the rod and the tip was dancing. I
finally got this fish up and into the basket.
A few casts later I saw the flash of a fish
and had a crappie on for a few seconds before
the hook came out. This happened on six straight
casts. The fish were rolling on the fly and were
being hooked in the thin part of the mouth. You
can't catch them if you don't hook them.
The next fish I hooked was a huge bluegill. This
fish came up and wallowed on the surface and
flopped around. I was being very careful as I wanted
this fish in my hand. This fish went around the
canoe three times before I got her in. I had to
lip her to do it. She measured just shy of 13
inches, and was very thick. I thought about
keeping her to show some folks and brag a little,
but she is still swimming in the pond. The
interesting thing I saw was the other fish
swimming with her as I was trying to land her.
I could see another dozen fish around her as she
circled the canoe.
The next fish I hooked that I managed to keep
up near the surface gave me some more information.
When I got the fish up near the canoe, I could see
several other fish around this one.
I changed fishing tactics. Instead of starting
off with short casts and then slowly making them
longer I went to long casts. I had lost several
fish when they jumped or just after hooking them.
My thought was that there were several others around
for everyone that I hooked. My guess is that they
were in competition for food. If I lost one, they
would be another to hit the fly.
This worked very well and I continued to catch
fish. I also lost several fish. But if one came
off another would hit the fly. I did not have the
anchor down and just let the fish on the line
move me around the pond. I have a watch that
has an alarm on it and at 4:30 it went off. I
decided that it was time to head home.
I did miscalculate a little as I had caught
more fish than I thought. I had to turn the
back porch light on and fillet the fish under
the light for the last 18 fish. I can't do
them as fast this way.
When I was washing the fillets, I found out
that I had caught 57 gills and 1 crappie. I
know I lost at least that many also, but it
was so much fun having them on the line.
It seemed a little strange that they did not
hit any of the other flies, but who am I to
argue with success.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick