I can tell that fall is coming. We had a cold front
come through and the temperatures went down about 20
degrees. With the days getting shorter and the cooler
temperatures I went out later in the day. I did not get
to the pond until about 8:00 am in the morning. I will
admit that I spent about an hour before going out picking
apples to make cider later.
I got to the pond and loaded everything into the canoe.
I could see no activity on the pond. I put my hand down
in the water and it was cooler than it had been before.
This tells me that the fall bite may be on. I find that
as the water cools the fish are more aggressive as they
feed for the winter.
I had three rods with me. One rod had a popper/midge combo
that I would cast out and just let set. The second had a
streamer nymph on it. The third rod had a black leech
pattern on it. I thought it was time to fish the break
lines in the pond. The fish would be moving along them
searching for food.
I cast the popper/midge combo out. The midge was about a foot
under the popper. I made it from a red pheasant tail barb with
some copper wire for a rib. I started casting with the streamer
nymph along the break line at the same time.
I caught a few small bass, but nothing else. After 10
minutes I moved about 40 feet and set up again. The popper
midge went out first and then I cast the streamer nymph
toward a little flat that I know is along the shore line.
The fly had just barely gone under the water, when the line
went sideways. I set the hook and had a nice gill on the line.
I knew it was a gill because it came out of the water twice
before I got it landed. I don't have gills jump very often,
but it happens on a rare circumstance.
I had just put this fish in the basket, when the popper
started to move. I waited a few seconds and then gently
set the hook. I knew this was a gill from the way the
popper was cutting didos. This was a huge gill. This one
went back in the pond after I got the midge out of her mouth.
I cast the popper/midge back out. I decided to try
the leech over the little flat where I had cast before.
Just as the leech hit the water a fish swirled on it.
I thought bass and set the hook. This fish stayed deep
and swam in a semi circle by the canoe. I was very
surprised to find a crappie on the line. Surprised but
happy and the fish went into the basket.
There were no more fish on the little flat, but I knew
where a bigger flat was and moved toward that spot. I
anchored about 25 feet away from it and cast the
popper/midge to the edge of the flat. I cast the leech
to the edge of the flat and started to retrieve it very
slowly. I did about a 2-inch strip with a 5-second pause.
I did this a few times and then the fly would get hammered.
Most of these were gills, but I would get a crappie now
As I continued to cast to the flat, I was getting several
more strikes. Many of these I could see were crappie that
were rolling on the fly. That meant a short fight before
they got off the line. But it was still fun to know that
I had figured out where they were.
I did catch more fish on the popper/midge combo. They were
gills, but they were all big fish. This fly might set for
10 minutes or more before a fish took it. The only movement
this fly gets is what is caused by the water or the wind.
I do nothing to it. I do use 7X tippet to attach the midge.
That might let it have a little more movement.
I had covered most of the flat, when I heard a shot gun blast.
I am not sure what they might have been hunting or doing, but
it was time to leave. This is a pond that I had stocked and
not many folks know there are fish in it. There are also a
few folks that I don't want to know that it has fish.
It was a fun morning and great fun to have the fish hitting
the flies so hard. Fun to hear the geese flying overhead. I
also saw about a hundred Monarch butterflies feeding on some
flowers along the shore.
I ended up spending about 2 hours out on the pond. If I
had been able to spend the other hour I might have had
another 100 fish day. But I had fish to eat and share.
I also have good memories of the time at this pond.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick