I headed out to the lake over my lunch hour
again. It is in the last half of July and
the temperature has dropped some. There is no
wind and the lake is calling my name. When I
arrived at the lake I could see some rises on
the settling pond on the east side of the road.
This seemed to be the place for me to go.
I put on a black foam spider
(Favorite Bluegill Flies) and cast it out.
From experience I know to let this fly sit
for a long time. Just when I think it is long
enough that I should let it sit there, then
I should let it sit that much longer. Then
give it just a light twitch, just
enough to move it. Then let it sit as long as
it did before. (If you look this fly up in the
previous article you will notice that the rubber
hackle legs are fairly thick. I have tried it with
thinner rubber hackle, but that does not work.
The water tension will hold the legs against
the body the first time they make contact.)
Just after the second twitch there was this
slurping sound as the fly disappeared. I
waited a second and then set the hook. I
was into a nice gill that turned sideways
and went to the bottom. I brought in some
weeds as I got this fish to the shore. It
was a nice 8.5" of brightly colored bluegill.
I took the hook out and released this fish to
fight again another day.
At this point I put a brown spider on the other
line and cast each fly out. They were about
15 feet apart and about 20 feet out from the
weeds. The brown fly had been on the water
for about 30 seconds when a 12" bass slashed
across the surface and took the fly. I did not
have to set the hook as this fish did it for me.
This fish also jumped a few times before I got
it into shore. I had to use the forceps to get
the fly out as it was down the gullet so far.
I did get the hook out without hurting the fish.
I had just cast the brown out again when a
huge green sunfish jumped out of the water and
hit the black spider on the way down. By the
time I got that rod picked up the fish was
pulling on the line. This fish dogged around
and tried to get into the weeds. More by luck
than skill, the fish stayed out of the weeds.
She turned out to be 11.5" long. The biggest
green sunfish I have caught in this pond. I
did not know they were that large. I released
her to provide fun again on another day.
I cast the black fly out again but cast it more
to the side so it was only about 10 feet out
from the weeds. I picked up the rod with the
brown spider on it and twitched it just enough
to get the legs to move. The waves from that
movement had just disappeared when the water
opened up and the fly disappeared. I did pause
before setting the hook, but more from surprise
than skill. When I did set the hook the fun
really started. This fish wanted to swim away
and I was not trying to get her to come in right
then. I did grab the other rod and wind the line
up so the fly was off the water. As I was
skittering it across the surface I had another
12" bass smash the fly.
I got this one in and a voice told me to fight
the big fish, he would take the little one off
This gentleman had been fishing on the main lake
and had just loaded his boat up to head home.
He had stopped to ask if I was catching anything
and saw the fish hit. He took care of the little
one while I started to fight with the big one. I
held the rod up as high as I could and still strip
line in. I know that this pond has a ton of weeds
on the bottom and I was trying to keep this fish
out of them. I would pull a little line in and the
fish would take it out, and then we did it again.
The fish came up on the surface once and I could
not see the fly, so I figured it was fairly well
set. This tug-of-war continued for about 10 minutes
before I started gaining some line. I got enough
in that I stopped for a minute and put the line
on the reel. As I continued to bring the fish in
she would swim parallel to he shore. Since there
is a 12 foot wide opening in the weeds that she
would have to come through when I landed her, I
was trying to get a sense of timing of when to
bring her into that opening.
I could see the size of this fish and I wanted
her in my hand for a minute. After a few more
trips back and forth I got her up just under the
surface and started to bring her in. I had brought
the rod down from being very high and had the tip
down some. I wanted to use the leverage of the rod
to help move this fish into the shore. As I was
bringing her into the opening I raised the rod
and got her head up. With her head up I got her
headed in and got her lipped before she really
knew what was happening.
It took the forceps to get the fly out as it was
buried deep in the roof of her mouth. She weighed
just over seven pounds on the scales the other
gentleman had. It was the biggest bass he had
seen in the lake and told me he was jealous. I
released her and told him that he could try for
her the next time he was at the lake.
Time had run out and I had to get back to the
office. My wife was working for me that day and
I knew I would be in trouble if I did not get
back on time.
PS. I went back out today, 5 days later. I did
not catch a single fish on the foam spiders. Did
get a few on other flies.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick firstname.lastname@example.org