I went out to a pond that I had not
visited for a year on Saturday morning.
This is one of the ponds that I have
been working on to get into shape.
Each of the past two years I have taken
about 500 bluegills out of it. All of
them about 5 inches long. I also put in
about 60 bass than were from 4 to 6 inches
long. These came from an over-stocked bass
pond that I had access to.
The other thing is that the pond was fenced
in so the cattle are not walking into it.
I wanted to go back to see how the
fish were doing this year. I got to
the pond and could see that there
were fish working all over the place
along the shore. It sure does take a
long time to get everything into the
canoe when the fish are making that
much noise. I finally got all the stuff
in the canoe, the paddle, anchors etc.
I then decided to take a minute and decide
what flies to tie on. I decided to go with
the floating/suspending nymph and another
nymph that would be subsurface. I was sure
that these would work. I was sure that the
fish were taking things off the surface or
just under the surface and that this
would be a fun day.
After casting for 15 minutes and not getting
a single bite, it was time to reevaluate.
Fish were near where the flies were, because
I could see them, but they were not interested
in the flies I had on. Time to change and to
make the change drastic.
I put on a beadhead bugger variation that
I use. I decided that I would try something
that would drop faster and stay deeper than
the other flies I had been using. If this
did not work then I would need to change
to something that would work in the range
I cast this out near the edge of the
weeds. I was trying to figure out if I
wanted to let it drop or start to
retrieve it when the line took off
toward the middle of the pond. That
decided what I should do. I had a nice
fat bass that was about a foot long.
I let him go back and tried another cast.
This time the fly had dropped about a
foot when I saw the line twitch. I
sat the hook and had a nice gill on
the line. This fish was about 8 inches
I then cast to the next little depression
in the weed line and got another nice gill
to hit. The fish seemed to be hitting the
fly as it dropped. I decided to cast to
every point and depression along the weed
line to see what would happen. I was getting
a gill on almost every cast. I also caught
several bass as I went along here.
I did try some other flies on the other
rod, but nothing was working like this fly.
After I had caught about 40 fish, the fly
started to fall apart. I decided to see
how many more fish I could catch on it. I
did have more of this pattern, but I thought
it would be interesting to see how long fish
would hit the fly.
All I had to do was cast near the weed line,
let the fly drop and wait for a fish to hit.
The fish were very cooperative and were taking
the fly on the vast majority of casts. About
every third fish I caught was a bass. They
were all about a foot long. They had grown
in the past year as had the gills. By taking
some gills out and leaving the bass this pond
should get into shape and stay that way for
a log time.
The land owner came out to see how it was
going. He had brought a rod to try to catch
some fish. He had no luck with the lures he
was using. I tied on a fly and let him cast
with that, using a casting bubble. He started
catching some fish and was having a ball. I
moved him around to different places to catch
fish. He told me that he was having a ball.
We each caught several more fish. It was
nice to hear him say that this was the best
fishing he had ever had in this pond. I told
him the other ponds he owned could be like
this if he instituted the same rules on the other
He needed to leave too so I left at the same
time. It let us open and close the three
gates to get into this pond easier. We
could alternate opening and closing so
it was much faster.
I got home and found that I had 55 gills
when I finished filleting them. They had
doubled in size from last year. I know that
I turned back more than 30 bass and that I
put several of the gills that were larger
than this back in. I am fairly sure that
I had a 100-fish day.
This is the fly, above, I used to
catch all of the fish. The right one is an
original unused fly. There was one I tied
to show what it looked like at the start
and the way it looked when I finished, but
the fish were still hitting it. I think I
am just adding fuel to the fire of pattern
or presentation. The pattern is black marabou
tail, black chenille for the body, and three
rubber hackle legs at the front with a bead
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick firstname.lastname@example.org