I went out for my normal fishing excursion on Saturday
morning. This is the first Saturday in September and
I am anticipating the fishing starting to pick up some.
The nights are starting to cool off a few degrees more
than they have before. That means that the temperatures
are cooler in the early morning when I get to the pond.
I was supposed to meet a friend so I headed out to one
of our favorite ponds. I got there and started unloading
stuff. I got everything ready and I was still waiting.
I was watching the pond and I could see fish feeding
just under the surface. They did not break the surface,
but I could see the swirl. I cast at a few near the shore
but did not connect with them.
I finally gave up and headed out into the pond. I could
always come back to shore to pick him up when he came.
I cast with several different flies and was not having
any success. I was trying everything and it just was not
working. In fact everyplace I cast to the fish quit
working in that area.
It was time for a radical change. I went to a size 13
Skip Morris Panfish fly that had no weight of any sort
on it. There is a woven body of silver and brown
embroidery thread on the shank. The winging was a dull
orange marabou with black marabou above it. I also mixed
in a few strands of flash material in the wing. This is
tied fairly sparse with the marabou.
I decided to make a long cast so I could straighten the
line out on the reel. I had some tight loops and some
loose loops all mixed up on the reel. It was time to get
that straighten out. I tied this fly on the 3 wt rod that
I built and had a furled leader to use with it. I also
put about 3 feet of 5X tippet on the end of the furled
When I cast the fly out it hit the water very softly.
I was not ready to have a fish hit the fly that quickly,
but fortunately the fish hooked himself and I had a nice
gill to bring to the boat. I cast about 10 feet to the
side of where I had caught this fish and had another
strike, just after the fly hit the water. This time I
was ready to set the hook. I had another nice gill that
put up a nice fight before getting him to the canoe.
I made another cast to the opposite side of where I had
caught the first fish and had another gill smack the fly
just after it hit the water. It was another nice gill.
At this point I am seeing the pattern. It takes a long
cast with a very gently entry for the fly, so the fish
will not spook. When I do this I get a fish.
Just to be sure I tie on a bead head fly on the other
rod that I have with me. This is a black leech fly. I
cast it out about 20 feet to the side where I have seen
a few fish feeding. I can see the wakes as they spook
and take off. I only experiment few times, before I go
back to the unweighted fly.
Each time I make long cast and have a gentle entry
into the water I am catching a fish. As I slowly move
down the pond and get toward some of the shallower
water, I begin to catch more bass. The bass or mostly
around a foot long, but I get a few that are pushing
3 lbs. I am also picking up the odd gill here and there,
but not nearly as many as over the deeper water.
I have been watching the shore to see if my friend
shows up to go fishing. At the same time I have been
watching a front come along. It is a fortunate thing
that as I decide to head back toward the dam to fish
the deeper water the breeze shifts and is blowing
toward the dam. I don't have to do anything, but let
the canoe turn around and keep on casting.
I continue to catch gills as I go back up the pond.
I try a few other flies that are unweighted, but
nothing works as well as this fly. I keep going
back to it as I never have taken it off the one rod.
When I am about 40 feet from the dam I hook the first
crappie. When I get the fish near the canoe I can see
the hook in the thin membrane on the side of the mouth.
The fish flips off on the surface. I drop the rear
anchor so I can stay in this place and try for another
crappie. I hook several more, but only manage to land
two of them.
Then suddenly it is over. I can't get a fish to hit
on anything. I see no signs of feeding or activity.
After another 10 minutes of casting with no hits I
decide to head in. I get every thing loaded into and
on the pick up and head out.
I go by my friend's house on the way home and they
are not there. I find out later that one of the good
friends from work was hurt in a car accident and they
went to be with the family at the hospital. I don't
blame him for doing that, but we will get together
I had a nice mess of gills when I got home. We got
to share them with several folks.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick email@example.com