Rick Zieger - Sep 9, 2015

I knew that it was going to be a hot day so I started out early. It was already humid and I knew there would be a race to see which got close to a 100 first. It was time to hit the pond early and have everything done before the heat hit hard.

We had an inch or rain yesterday and I had thought I might be able to drive into a pond, but he rain fried that idea. Hiking in I found three places where water was standing, with a few inches of very soft, slick mud under it. When I got to the pond I saw that the water was lower than I expected. When I looked at the drain pipe I found that it had collapsed. The water had cut down about a foot and a half below where the hole is and that means that means the water was lower. 

I had two 5 weight rods with me. NJ Trout bum [Ralph Long] put a pattern on this site called the Puddle Jumper. He stated he used it around weeds to catch some large gills and pickerel. No pickerel here, but large gills sounded interesting. I tied a yellow one, my change, on one rod and on the other I had a white sparkle eye lash yarn fly on it. 

I started down the west side of the pond. That way as I went back to the dam and then fish the east side I will be in the shade which is important as it gets warmer. With the water down I could wade out about 5 feet farther than I have before. Knee high rubber boots are nice at times. 

I was curious about the Puddle Jumper so I cast it first. This fly has foam at the head and a pine squirrel strip back and tail. The tail drops when the fly is stooped and comes back up when the fly is retrieved. It worked just like Ralph wrote. I had moved the fly about three times when there was a swirl around the fly and the line tightened. I just love that when it happens on the first cast with a new fly. It turned out to be a bass about a foot long. I turned this fish back.

I made a few more casts with it and got two nice gills and a nice crappie. I switched to the eyelash fly and tried that. I discovered that fly worked better coming in perpendicular to the bank. I got a few more crappie and gills on that fly. I moved up the pond and tried again. I got a few more fish on each fly again in this area. Moving up the west side of the pond I was getting a fair number of fish in the basket and decide to go to the east side of the pond to fish. That way if I got more fish I was getting closer to the truck. The Puddle Jumper worked very well along this area by casting it about a foot out from the edge of the weeds. I would pull it a couple of inches and then pause for about 5 seconds. I got some nice crappie to take the fly along that area. 

I will admit to dappling the first few casts. Then extend the cast a few feet each time. There were crappies all along that area. They were not interested in the white eyelash fly so I changed it to a perch-a-bou fly and picked up some nice bluegills using this pattern.

Since I could only cast about 15 feet due to the overhanging branches I moved often. This was not a problem as I was catching fish but I got to a place where I had to stop. I could not get past the branches that were hanging down just over the water. There is this big oak tree that jumps out and eats flies. I know this tree can move 10 feet.

I went around a little bay and headed for the dam area. It was starting to get a little warm so I was fishing fairly fast across the dam so I could head home. Just as I got there the landowner shows up and he was trying to catch fish to have a fish fry.

I had a good number of fish in the basket so I told him that I would help him catch some. The Puddle Jumper quit working for me due to the bright sun on the water. The fish had moved into deeper water and I needed a fly that would get down to where they were hanging out.  

I changed to a yellow boa yarn fly and a gold Goldie Jr. According to my reading, and experience these colors work better in dingy water. This worked as there seemed to be a large number of fish just off the break line. It took us about half an hour to catch enough fish for his fish fry. The bonus was that he gave me a ride out on his four wheeler so I did not have to carry the fish basket out. That was a nice bonus. 

When I got home I found that I had hit triple figures with what I gave to the other guy. I had lots and lots of fish to share. 

Here is a picture of a few of them.

Several more were the size of these.

Hope you can get out on the water.


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