It is December 16 and I can't drive into the pond. It
has rained too much. There is too much mud in the low
spots. Not what I expect in December, but it's what
I hike in with two fly rods. I took a 5 wt with a
floating line and a 6 wt with a full sinking line.
I have not been to this pond for a few years. It
recently changed renters and this one will let me
go on the land. It had bluegill, crappie and bass
the last time I fished it.
My thought was that with none fishing it for four
years the fish might be in competition for any food
that is in the pond. I am not sure that is true, but
it does sound good, doesn't it? Actually I do think
that it is very important in small ponds, but have
no way to prove it, except by experience.
I get to the pond and find that it has a band of dead
weeds that stick out about six feet from the shore. I
know that the water is about two feet deep where the
weeds are and then slopes down to eight feet deep over
the next twelve feet out from shore.
I cast the sinking line out and lay the rod down. I want
the line to go to the bottom. I cast with the other rod
to see if there are any fish swimming higher in the water
column. No luck with fish being higher in the water column.
I pick up the rod with the sinking line on it and start
to retrieve the fly very slowly. This is a half inch
strip done slowly with a five to six second pause.
The fish are not moving fast, so the fly does not move
fast. I move it a little, but let it stay in place a
long time to let any fish take it with minimal effort
if it is in front of them.
I have on a black marabou leech. There is no weight
on this fly as the line will take it down and the
leader is only about four feet long. I can keep
contact with the fly better with a shorter leader.
That may be due to my style more than anything else.
I had moved the fly about five feet before I felt
some resistance and had a fish on the line. I got
the fish up near the shore, when the difficulty
began. The fish was staying deep and ended up
getting into the weeds. I could see that it was
a nice crappie, but the weeds and the strain put
on the hook resulted in the fish getting off.
So the next time I will work harder on getting the
fish up higher to stay out of the weeds. Great theory,
as you will see. I cast out again and let the line go
to the bottom. Again when the line has come in about
five feet I have another fish on the line. The rod
goes over my head and I bring the fish in slower. I
hope to get the fish up higher to stay out of the
weeds, but loose another one in the weeds. I don't
like to loose crappie!
I shorten the line by about three feet and cast again.
I did not go the full five feet as I was not sure if
the fish were following the fly in or were just that
far from shore. But with a shorter cast I would find
out sooner. Turned out the fish were that far from
I hooked a fish on nearly every cast, but only got
three out of the water. Everything I tried to get
the fish to be higher in the water column did not
work. I lost about thirty fish in the weeds.
The weather looks like it might be warm enough after
Christmas that I can get out on that Saturday. If I
can, I am going back with a rake also. I will see
if I can make a narrow channel in the weeds and get
a few more of the fish landed.
Any hints on using a full sinking line and getting
fish nearer the surface?
Hope you can get out on the water. ~