It was another Saturday morning and time to head for a pond. I
was trying another new pond from the gentleman I had helped get
cattle in for earlier in the summer. He had another pond where
the cattle would be out of the pasture for a while. Part of our
agreement is that I will not go into the ponds when cattle are
on the land. He will let me know when they are off. I can live
I get out to the pond and am a little surprised. I had to go up
a gentle slope to get to this pond. Coming out is going to be
all down hill. That is very unusual for a pond around here.
I get the canoe loaded and get ready to go out on the pond. I am
getting my life jacket and vest on when it begins to sprinkle. Not
very hard but enough that I don't want to get the camera wet. So
I leave it in the pickup. Also not hard enough to make me leave.
I am not sure what fish are in this pond. So I put on a variety of
flies to try. I have a marabou leech, a gilly, a bluegill bomber
(a fly of the week in the future from Greg Hunsucker) and a Goldie
for crappie. All of these flies have also caught bass when I have
been fishing them.
I start with the leech, mainly because it was on the first rod I
picked up. This is a very scientific method of fly choice. I cast
it for about 10 minutes and nothing happens. I try the gilly and
the bomber fly and still the basket is empty. Could this be the
rare pond that does not have any bluegill in it?
Time to change and try the Goldie. Maybe there are a few crappie
in the pond. I cast for about 10 minutes and have no response.
Time to move to another place and see what might happen. This
is a rectangular pond. I am on the low side of this pond. I go
to the other side where I think there might be a steeper drop. I
am doing anchor sonar, as I did not think to bring my "Fishing Buddy"
to do it electronically.
I go through the bluegill flies again, but do not spend as much
time on each of them as I did before. I have just picked up and
cast the Goldie again when I hear a couple of geese coming. That
always makes me stop and watch what is happening. They swing over
the pond and start to approach me to land. They are almost on the
water, about 30 feet from me, when they figure out that I am there.
It was interesting to watch them work to take off again. I think I
was also called a few names as they went by.
When the show as over I started to retrieve the fly line. The line
did not want to come in. The crappie on the end of the line did not
like the idea of being hooked. This was great fun on a 3 wt rod. But
I got a very nice crappie into the boat. Now it is time to consider
what had happened to hook this fish. I cast out and let the fly drop
until it had to be straight down from the end of the line. Could this
be the way the fish wanted the fly? Will they take the fly on the drop
There is one way to find out. I cast out again and let the fly drop.
It is probably down about five feet when I see the line twitch. That
makes me twitch also and I have another crappie on the line. This
seems to be a pattern.
I get a crappie about every third cast after this. I find that I have
to make the casts land at least five feet from where the last one was
and then do nothing. If a fish is there they seems to take it on the
drop. If not on the drop then bring it back in and cast again.
I think I have seven fish in the basket when I hook another fish.
This feels like a much larger fish. I can't get it to come in as
fast. The rod is almost in a "C" shape with this fish. I get it close
and see that it is a huge crappie. This fish looks to be 22 to 24 inches
long. I grab the net to land this fish. I am pulling it toward the net
when I see the line break near the fly.
Stupid, stupid, and stupid...you know to retie after several fish
have worked on the knot.
I know to retie after about every five or six fish. But there are those
times that I am catching fish and I get so enamored with catching fish,
that I forget to do the important things. This time I paid for that
lack of discipline. If stupid had retied, he probably would have
landed that fish.
I was much more disciplined the rest of the morning. I was getting a
fair number of crappie into the boat. I was also casting an eye toward
the clouds every few minutes.
I had the last crappie I caught in hand when I heard the first rumble
The fish went in the basket and the anchor got pulled up. I headed
for the shore. The first thing I did after landing was to put all
the graphite rods in the back of the pickup cab. I did not want
them around me to be a lightening rod. I did wrap the lines for
the anchors up; it is easier to handle them and only takes a minute.
got he canoe loaded and tied down. I was thinking about taking a
few pictures of the pond until I saw the rain coming.
I got out of the gate and had it locked before the rain came. It
poured buckets for a few minutes before I drove out of it. When
I got home we had not had a singe drop of rain.
I did have some nice crappie to fillet out and make a meal for
Stupid will return to that pond and try for that huge crappie again.
I will retie, I will retie, I will retie, I will retie...
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick