My wife had the 24-hour flu Saturday so I stayed home to be with her and to
give moral support.
OK, I stayed to get a few things done also, but I did do a few things for
her. She did feel better Sunday morning. I may have a second career being
an in-home nurse.
We got home after church Sunday and had eaten lunch, when my wife told me
that she thought I needed to go to a pond. She was going to take a nap and
read a book, but did not plan on doing anything. She also said that she did
not want to put up with me if I did not get out to the water while ice was
not on it. I would be so grumpy that I might not survive until our
I headed off to a pond that I had not been to for a few years. The land had
just changed hands again and the new owner wanted to know if there were any
fish in the pond. I told him there had been, but he wanted to know if it
was worth fishing. He wanted me to check it out.
There has been some cattle theft around here, one at a time, so he had me
come by and get a key. He wanted the gate locked behind me also when I went
in. He said if someone wanted the cow it would not stop them, but a locked
gate makes it harder.
I got to the pond and started to unload the canoe. That is when I noticed
the swarms of gnats that were all around me. I walked to the edge of the
pond and watched the water. There were little rings all over the place. A
little farther out I could see the flash of fish as they were taking
something. I hurried back and got everything into the canoe.
I did change the flies I had on, to midge patterns. There was a midge hatch
on and it looked like the fish were keying in on that. I have not hit many
ponds in the middle of the afternoon, but I may have to do it more.
I cast from the shore first. Why scare fish by putting in the canoe, before
I try to catch them?
I cast out about 20 feet and let the fly settle a little. It was just
barely under the surface when the line went sideways. I did not have to set
the hook. The fish was on. It was a nice size gill. Great fun to catch
since I had 6X tippet on. I cast out again and had the same thing happen.
The fly would get just under the surface and a fish would hit it. I caught
8 gills and three bass at this spot before I launched the canoe.
I got out in the canoe and slowly moved down the shore line. There was a
slight breeze, but no ripple on the water. Every few feet I would connect
with a fish. It was almost a fish a cast. I did lose several fish, but I
think they were crappies. A size 20 hook in the side of a crappie's mouth
is not a good formula for success.
After I had caught several fish, I decided to try some other midges, just to
see if they would work. I had started out with a midge made from black
wooly nylon. I wrapped this on a size 20 hook and then used a little black
dubbing to make a head. No weight or flash material with this.
I changed to a midge I tied with a red dyed pheasant tail feather. I wrapped
one fiber around the hook and then used a little dubbing for the head. No
weight or wire on this one either.
This fly worked just as well. In fact any dark midge pattern I tried
worked. Those that were light just did not do as well.
One thing I did do was to retie after about every five fish. I had to use
forceps most of the time to get the fly out. This is easier for me to do
than to try to get it out with my fingers. I thought that between the fish
and the forceps that this would be a good idea. It seemed to work as I did
not lose any flies to broken tippet. I did lose a couple to big bass going
into the weeds and breaking me off.
After a time I started to get thirsty and decided that I should head in. In
my infinite wisdom I had not taken any water with me. I did not realize how
many fish I had put in the basket, but the darn thing was nearly full. When
I got it into the canoe, I decided that it definitely was time to go home.
I had fish to fillet.
As I loaded the canoe, I still had swarms and swarms of gnats around me. I
look forward to coming to this pond again during an afternoon time and
seeing if there is another midge hatch going on. I still had about half the
pond that I had not fished.
I got through the gate and took the key back to the land owner. I showed
him the fish that I had and asked him if he would like some. I had taken my
fillet knife and a board with me so I filleted a few for him. I thanked him
for letting me fish in this pond. He said that if he got fish, there were
several more ponds that he could get me into. I took that offer up
When I got home and got the fish filleted, the guts buried
and things put away, I found out that I had caught over a
100 fish. I had kept 83 gills and one crappie. I had tossed
back about a dozen large gills and had returned about 2
dozen bass. But it was a fun, fun day.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick firstname.lastname@example.org