It was that Saturday after Thanksgiving. The kids had
been home for the holiday, but had left to get back to
their places ahead of the weather that we might have.
Also it gets them off the road when the heavier traffic
is going on.
It was late afternoon and the phone rang. My wife answered
and handed it to me. There was a guy on the phone wanting
to know if I would like to try a new pond. What a dumb
question! I replied yes and he told me that he would be
by in about 10 minutes to pick me up. He wanted to make
it kind of a contest when we got to the pond so he told
me to choose one fly and he would have one lure to use
and see what we might catch. He had seen a one fly contest
on TV and wanted to try that sort of thing.
I told him that I would be ready and waiting for him. I
went to the garage, where there are a few fly rods and
grabbed one of them. This is a 6 wt, but I thought it
might work a little better into the wind. Also it already
had the fly I thought I would use tied on it. I was using
a leader that is about 9 feet long. This is the yellow
leech type fly I made out of SAAP Body Fur. I like this
fly because it can be seen for a country mile. This helps
as the water is cooling off.
He picked me up and we headed off to a pond. This turned
out to be some property that I have not been able to get
onto to fish. I am not sure how Bill got permission, but
I did not push the point. We hit the pond about 4:15 PM.
That meant that we would be finishing the hour as the
sun went down.
This pond is about 1.5 football fields in width and length.
It runs east west with the dam at the east end. There are
no trees within a hundred feet of the pond. The low front
that was coming in was to the southwest of us. That meant
the wind was coming from the northeast. He chose to go to
the north side of the pond. I wanted to stay on the south
and cast into the wind. I did ask if he knew anything about
the topography of the pond. He told me this was the first
time that he had been to the pond also.
I cast out and let the fly drop for a long time. I then
started a very slow retrieve, a 1 to 2 inch slow strip
with a few second pause afterwards. This retrieve has
been working well for me lately in the cooler water. I
had moved the fly about 10 feet when I felt some
resistance and set the hook. I had a fish on, but it
did not fight very much. When I got it in it was a bass
that was around a foot long. I made sure that Bill saw
that I had caught the fish.
I cast out again and let the fly drop, as before. I then
started the same retrieve. After the fly had moved about
10 feet again, I felt the resistance. It was a carbon
copy bass. Not much fight again, but I made sure Bill
I was getting about 30 to 35 feet of line out casting
into the wind. I decided to cast at an angle more and
try to keep the fly in the area where the fish seemed
to be. Both fish had hit about 20 to 25 feet offshore.
With the angle I might have more time in the area with
fish. It was a little harder to get the line out where
I wanted it. I will have to practice more in my casting
cross wind and obliquely to it. Being in the canoe where
you can change the position of the canoe has spoiled me.
This cast did not produce any fish. I had cast toward
the dam end so I cast the opposite direction. I had just
started to retrieve the line when I felt the resistance
again. This was another bass, but only 6 inches long. But
I made sure that Bill saw that I had another one. I was up
on him 3 to 0.
I invited him to come and try this side of the pond. I made
a few more casts and did manage to get another small bass
and one little gill. Bill managed to get one bass on this
side of the pond. Then our time was up. I had him by a 5 to
1 margin. I did tell him to cast out again and then retrieve
his lure at the speed I told him. By doing it very slowly he
did get another bass to hit.
With all the conditions, I did not think that this was too
bad of a day. We caught a few fish on a pond that we knew
nothing about. Hopefully I will be able to get back to it
with the canoe sometime next summer.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick