It is the first Saturday in October. It should be
cool, but it is warm out. It is still shirt sleeve
weather. It is cloudy and there is not very much moon
showing to shed light on the situation. I get out to
the pond just a little before seven in the morning.
This way I can see to get into the pond without getting
stuck in any of the puddles left by the rain in the
middle of the week.
I get to the pond and see that it is mirror flat. This
does not happen very often here in Iowa. I see that
there is a hatch going on, but no fish taking anything
on the surface. I watch, but I still don't see any activity.
I get the canoe off the pickup and all the important
equipment loaded into the canoe.
I move slowly and quietly to the edge of the pond.
This pond is the size of a football field. It does
have a few small bays off the east side of it. The
deepest water is at the southeast side near the dam.
The rest of the water goes from about 9 feet deep,
about 30 feet from the dam, to about 3 feet deep at
the west end of the pond. There are assorted water
weeds around the edge of the pond. The weeds extend
out from the shore about a foot to about 10 feet
depending on the depth of the water near the shore.
I started casting with a popper/midge combo to let
it just set and see what might happen.
I went with a black boa yarn leech on the other rod.
This has been a very good fly for me for the past few
months. I cast this fly out so it was coming parallel
to the shore and about 6 inches out from the weeds. I
was checking to see if the fish might be tucked against
the weed edges as they were not taking the hatch in the
middle of the pond.
I made my first cast of about 15 feet. I had the fly
coming by a small depression in the weeds when it got
hammered. It was a nice gill that cut several didos
before I got it in. I decided to try this routine again
to see what would happen. I had moved the fly about
three feet when another gill hammered it.
This fish jumped two times before I got it landed.
I decided that this might be a pattern. I cast a little
farther along the shore and slowly retrieved the fly.
I had moved it twice when it was hit by a freight train.
The fish was hooked before I could do anything. This
fish went deep and stayed there. I could not really
gain any line and did not want to pressure the fish
to much. I had 5X tippet going to the fly. All I could
do was lead the fish in a sort of semi circle out in
the pond. It took about 10 minutes before I could gain
any line against this fish. I slowly gained it and then
was very surprised. I had a channel cat on the fly. I
had managed to see the hook, it was in the lip where
the tippet would not rub. I finally got this fish up
and it measured about 24 inches long. A big surprise
in about 6 feet of water and very near the shore.
I moved about 30 feet then as I figured the water
was disturbed near where I had fought the catfish.
I made a short cast along the weed edge and had
another gill smack the fly.
In fact every time I cast along the shore and moved
the fly past a point or little depression I had a
fish hit the fly.
Being a curious person, I put a white boa yarn leech
on the other rod and cast it along the weeds. I was
wondering if there might be any crappie around and
if white would be better than black. I always have
to try for crappie.
I alternated with the black and white flies as I moved
along the shore line. I was getting gills and bass to
hit, but had not found any crappie. The gills and bass
were hitting both flies. I would only catch one fish at
each place, but the next fish was only 3 to 5 feet away.
I moved around the pond and was headed south on the west
side of the pond when I caught the first crappie. There
was one place in the weed edge that had about a 10-foot
opening. I had cast to one edge of this and had a crappie
take the fly as it was dropping. I cast to another place
in this depression and had another crappie hit the fly.
I decided to try casting to the point at one side of
This fly had just hit the water when there was a big swirl.
I thought it was a bass the way it stayed deep and was
trying to go to the center of the pond. I was surprised
and happy to find a large crappie on the line. This fish
I netted. If one side works then try the other side of the
opening. This time I saw the crappie come up and roll on
the fly. I waited for a second and then set the hook. This
fish came to the surface and I saw the fly in the side of
her mouth. After a few seconds it came out, but I know this
fish was several inches larger than the crappie I had just
caught(14 inches when I measured at home). I will return
looking for this fish.
I moved down the shore line getting several more fish
in the process. I caught two fish on the popper/midge
combo, The fish were just not feeding away from the
weed edge, in any manner that I could discover. I had
tried casting to the center of the pond, but I never
got a strike from a fish.
It had been great fun, but I decided to head home. It
was getting warmer and I knew that I had several fish
to fillet. I got the canoe out of the pond and all my
equipment put back into the pickup. I was just pulling
out onto the road when I got stopped. I had been reported
as trespassing on this land. Fortunately I had my agreement
(to fish the pond) with me and the key that would unlock
the gate. With all of this the officer said that I was okay.
Nobody else says that about me.
I got home and unloaded everything and then got started
on the fish. I spent about an hour getting them filleted
and then washed off and put away. I had just finished
everything when the landowner showed up. I had not left
the key at the landowners home as the person who complained
about my being on the land was following me. I did not want
them to know where the key went. The land owner showed up to
get his key. I explained why I had not left the key and why
I had called and left a message on his answering machine. He
was happy about this. I did offer him some fish and he turned
me down, he does not like fish. He did tell me that he would
get me copies of the keys to the gates where ponds are. This
way we would not have trouble with getting the key back to him.
It was a fun morning, with a lot of fish. Most came on one
pattern. I did destroy three flies during the mornings fishing.
But getting, gills, crappie, bass, green sunfish and a catfish
on one pattern in the same morning was fun. I am not sure why
the fish were tucked so close the edge, but as long as I could
catch them I was happy.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick