WHERE ARE THE BLUEGILLS?
I had a chance to go out and fish a pond but it had rained the night before. Officially it was not much, but some places got poured on. It was way too wet to drive through the low places to the pond so a hike to the pond was in order.
When I got to the pond and the water was a bit off color. There were no clumps of algae, but there was a lot of water weeds around the edge. Since I thought this might be the case on this pond I was wearing waders. This let me get out about eight feet in the weeds and makes it much easier to land the fish.
I had two 5 weight rods with me. The one that was in my hand had a white Only on it and that seemed to be a good place to start. I got ready and made the first cast. I wanted the fly to come in just off the edge of the weeds to see if the fish might be there. I had not moved the fly very far when the rod tip went down and I set the hook and had a nice crappie come to hand. I was a little surprised at this. It was mid- morning and I thought the crappie would be deeper. But the fish was in my hand, the hook was out, so I dropped the fly just over the edge of the weeds and put the crappie in the fish basket.
Straighten up from that and there was another fish on the line. It was almost a carbon crappie of the first one. This one goes into the basket. I made another cast along the weed line in the opposite direction, and the fly has not moved far when the line headed toward the middle of the pond. Another crappie came to hand.
Then the action stopped. I made many more casts along the weeds and out into the pond at different depths with different retrieves. I even change to the other rod, with a yellow boa yarn leech on it and the results were the same.
I moved about 10 feet and tried another cast along the weeds. This cast was shorter than the previous ones, but I wanted to see if the fish were in the weeds and how far apart they were. I found that the fish were about 10 feet apart. When the fly was about two feet out from the weed edge and I brought back with a three inch strip and a four second pause the fish seem to like that. They also liked the white fly better than the yellow fly.
So I start moving around the pond making short casts. I kept getting crappie about every 10 feet but not all of them came to hand. Some of them flopped on the surface and that let them get off the hook.
I covered about half the circumference of the pond and the first bluegill came to hand. I was wondered why I had not caught one but I kept moving and getting fish fairly frequently. I hit the place on the pond where experience has taught me that there is a brush pile. I cast out in this area and started catching fish. I hooked more than I landed, but you can't land what you don't hook.
It was starting to get really warm and I started thinking how far I have to hike out and how long it would take to fillet the fish. The thirst barometer was starting to make its presence known so I decided that it is time to head home.
I got home and when I counted my catch I found that I had 35 crappie and 3 bluegills. Where were the bluegills? I sure don't know, but had fillets to eat and to share.
Here is a picture of a few of the best.
|Part Two can be found here|