Rick Zieger - Apr 21, 2014

The ice went off the day before we headed for Sow Bug and by the time we got home and I could head for a pond the ice had been off for over a week. I was not sure that it was possible to drive into a pond, so I grabbed a 3 weight and a 5 weight rod and headed for the pond. I walked in and went to the far end of the dam. This would give me a large flat where I could cast. Then as I move across the dam the water gets deeper and has a break line. This would give me the best chance of finding fish. Since it is very early in the year my tendency is to fish imitation patterns.
So a Pheasant Tail Nymph (multi colored) and a hare's ear type fly were my choices. Both of these had 1.5 gold brass bead heads on them. This would help them drop a little.

I made several casts with each over the flat area. I fished them with several different retrieves. The only result was finding that the algae were growing. I found that I can still cast a little bit. Not pretty, but gets the fly out.

After moving about 30 feet, I started casting again. On the first cast the line feels heavy and a hook set was made. There was a fish on the line! This fish did not want to come near shore and the rod tip danced a lot. It brought back several memories and felt very good. I got a nice bluegill into the shore and in the basket. I made another cast and had a fish on for a few seconds and then nothing.

Over the next several casts two more gills came to hand, but several were lost not long after hook set. My explanation is that they were barely lip hooked and this let the hook rip out. The fish that were in the basket had been lip hooked so the explanation seems reasonable. As the action stopped is was time to move again. I moved another 30 feet and started casting. On the third cast with the hare's ear the line went to the side. It turned out to be a fairly nice crappie. Again lip hooked. Several more casts resulted in one more gill.

I moved around the pond again and started casting. I lost more fish that came to hand and I got most of them on the PTN.

I figured out that most of the fish were about eight feet out from the break line. The fish also wanted the fly coming in perpendicular to the shore. I did not hook any fish or have any bites when the fly was retrieved at an angle, over about 15 degrees, to the shore line.

When the break line ran out so did the bites. I did try some other places on the pond that had some deeper areas in the flats along the west shore. The fish had not moved into these areas.

One thing that made this trip a lot more fun was the fishing gloves I bought last fall. Handling wet fish and fly line was much more comfortable. The gloves are a very good investment in my opinion. I ended up with nine bluegills and seven crappie. In the process I landed about 1 out of 3 fish that hit the flies. I had some fillets to eat and share.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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