HARE'S EAR DAY
The water was calling me and I headed to a pond. There had been too much rain to drive in anywhere so went to a pond close to a road. I had two rods with me, both of them graphite; a 3 weight and a 5 weight. I hiked to the southeast corner of the pond at the east end of the dam. There is a large flat here, a good place in the spring for spawning.
I had an Only and a hare's ear type fly on the two rods. I cast the Only several times with no results, so I tried the hare's Ear also without any success. Then I made another cast with the Hares ear and got a cramp in the bottom of my foot. I sat down to work on my foot and set the rod down while I attempted to work out the cramp. When I got rid of the cramp I picked the rod up and when I started to retrieve I had a fish on. It turned out to be a decent bluegill. I tried another cast and let the fly drop a long time. When I started to retrieve there was a fish on the line. Again it was another decent bluegill. These fish are great fun on the 3 weight as the leader was about 7 ½ feet long. I think the fly was about straight down when the fish take it. The rod tip dances a lot getting a fish up from that deep.
I tried more casts and did not have any more luck. Both of the fish had hit on retrieves coming straight in. Those that were off to the side, over about 10 degrees, did not produce fish. So I moved about 10 feet and cast straight out. I let the fly drop for about a count of 15 and then started to retrieve. Immediately I had a fish on the line and it was a nice crappie. What is a crappie doing taking a size 14 hares ear? No idea why, but it worked. No more fish there.
I moved about 10 feet again and made another cast. On the first cast I got another nice bluegill to come to hand. I decided to try the Only again, but it does not produce any fish. I went back to the hare's ear and get another bluegill. I was beginning to see a pattern. Cast the fly out and let it drop for a long time. Stay perpendicular to the shore and I would get one or two fish in each place.
I change the Only to a generic type brown nymph. I used left over stuff for the tail, body and wing case. There is too much stuff on my desk to throw away and it seemed to call to be put together for a pattern. I cast this out and let it drop. I had no fish on this or when retrieving. I made another cast and started reeling the line in. I find it easier to reel the line this way than the loops out of my hand. About half way in a bluegill smashed this fly. The fly was only a few inches under the surface. I tried this again and had no luck. I tried the hare's ear and got two more bluegills.
I moved again and got set up. I cast the hare's ear and got two more bluegills. I tried the brown nymph and got another nice gill by retrieving the line in on the reel. Pulling the line in by hand did not do it.
This continued on across the dam. I got to the one place where I know (lost flies) that there are a few stick ups. I cast the hare's ear out there and picked up a crappie. The next cast resulted in another crappie. Both of them were about 13 inches long. I tried the brown nymph and got two bluegills.
I moved to the west side of the pond. This area slopes out for about 12 feet and then drops off about 5 feet. I tried the flies here and the fish went nuts. The fish seemed to be near the drop off. In this area it did not matter what direction the fly was coming in. Most on the hares ear because it was working. It was great fun with the fish hitting the fly all the time. Then the small sane area in my brain got a thought through. I lifted the fish basket and there were a lot of fish in it. Suddenly I thought of how far I needed to hike out and how long it would take to fillet the fish. As much as I hate to leave biting fish it was time to go. When I got out to the truck and I was happy there were no more fish in the basket. I headed for home.
On the way home I went by the University and I saw the young couple that I have fished with before. I asked them if they would like some fish, and when they answered in the affirmative I gave them 20 to 25 fish which would carry them for a few days.
I headed home and took care of a lot of fish. It took just under an hour to get them all filleted. Good eating and fish to share.
Hope you can get out on the pond.