Headed out to the lake over my lunch hour in
late November. Temperatures have been dropping
and the ponds are skimmed over with ice. The wind
has been keeping the main lake open, but the
writing is on the water.
When I got out to the lake there were two other
folks fishing off the far jetty. I had a red and
yellow Skip Morris Panfish fly (a Clouser variation)
tied on. I think this fly is in the archives of the
FAOL. One change I have made is to make a small black
pupil on the chain bead head and then cover it with
Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails. This makes a little
more of an eye and are not that hard to fix if they
wear off, before I lose or destroy the fly.
I headed out on the jetty to where I knew the water
dropped off from about six feet down to fourteen feet.
The fourteen-foot water is about eighty feet out from
the jetty but it is a fairly even slope. Got to see
this one time when I got to go out on a bass boat and
watch the electronics as we cruised around the jetties.
With the water being cooler, I decided that the
retrieved would have to be very slow. I cast out
and let the fly drop probably about five feet. I
then started to bring it in very slowly. Got it all
the way in without anything happening. This happens
a lot to me in the fall. On my next cast I repeated
the previous performance. I had moved the fly about
ten feet when the line felt heavy. I set the hook and
had a dead weight to bring in. It was a foot long
channel cat. Fish did not fight until it saw my ugly
face. Still it was not very energetic. I released her
to fight another day.
My next cast landed just about the same place the
second cast did, more from luck than skill. I retrieved
the fly again and nothing happened. My next cast was
nowhere near where the previous two landed. I let the
fly drop and when I started to retrieve the line felt
heavy and I sat the hook again. This was an eight-inch
bluegill that did not like the idea of being on the hook.
This fish put a nice bend in the rod and caused it to
dance around a little. This one got released also.
I noticed the other folks leaving the other jetty, but
gave it no thought. Two casts later I had another hit
and caught an eight inch crappie. I felt very good
because I had caught three species in six casts. I saw
that the other folks had parked at the end of the jetty
where I was, but it is a free country.
I made another cast and slowly retrieved it in. I
noticed the other folks were about 20 feet down the
jetty and watching what I was doing. That is OK,
because they might get the idea to take up fly fishing.
Also as much as I might not like it, I don't own the
whole jetty when I am out on the lake. My next cast
got caught by a gust of wind, good excuse, and landed
way off to my right.
This was over water that is about five feet deep. The
fly was just dropping when I saw the swirl of water
and sat the hook. I was just starting to fight the fish
when I had a person on each side of me, close enough
to hit me when they tried to cast.
I asked, in a less than cool and calm manner, what
they were doing? They said they wanted to catch fish
and this is where the fish were. I finally got the
fish in and it turned out to be a bass that was about
fifteen inches long. I was starting to release this
fish when the one guy hit me on the shoulder and told
me to give the fish to him.
The fish went into the lake. I told him that he was
all out of mistakes and that hitting folks was not
a good way of doing public relations. He started to
swing at me again and I grabbed his arm and swung
him around, letting loose when he would go into the
lake. The other guy told me that I could not do that.
I asked him it he wanted to join him, or just stay
away from me.
He decided to go swimming also. I decided that it
was time to leave.
The part I really try to remember is catching the
four species in eight casts. The other is a lot
like the things that can cause road rage on the
road. I hope that I have a corner on the "idiots"
of the fishing world.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick