I did not get out to go fishing until
Sunday afternoon. We moved our bedroom
from the first floor to the second and
it took a few trips to get all the
paraphanelia that we needed to do this.
Then it was a matter of getting
everything else moved and organized. That
took the morning and then the
wind was blowing about 35 mph. I decided
that I would be better off waiting
until Sunday afternoon when the wind was
supposed to be calmer.
I went to a pond that I do not get into
very often. I have to go through three fields.
The land owner does not want me to cross the
fields if cattle are in them. With the way he
rotates the cattle through the fields that
means that I can get into the pond once or
twice a year. This pond was formed by damming
a ravine. He tried a couple of things to stop
the erosion and they did not work. He finally
made it a pond. It covers more
area than was being eroded.
It is a rectangle about 120 yards long and 60
yards wide. The deepest water is about 14 feet
near the center of the dam. The sides of the
pond have two break lines on each side and
across the dam. The first is about a
three-foot drop and goes out about 8 feet.
The second is a 5-foot drop and is 10 feet
wide before it slopes on out the rest of the
way. He built this pond himself and I got to
help design it. That is why he cut the two
break lines with the dozer in the construction
process. There are also a couple of good size
trees anchored in the bottom of the pond.
I went out with three rods this time. I took
another rod with a sinking line on it. The whole
line sinks, not just the tip. I have had this line
for a long time. I thought I might have to try
deeper to get any fish. I had a flasher on one
rod for crappie. Another rod had a Skip Morris
Panfish fly on it in red and yellow. I put a
modified Hares Ear on the sinking line.
I got onto the water and anchored over the
second breakline on the west side of the pond.
I dropped the front anchor (Joe Hydes' system)
and cast with the SMP. Since the water is
cooling, I thought the fish would be moving
slower and I would probably have to be deeper.
I cast along the edge of the second breakline
and let the fly drop. I slowly moved it along
and did not have any action. I then cast to the
edge of the first breakline and started bringing
the fly at an angle to the second breakline.
When the fly was about 3 to 4 feet out from
the first breakline I felt some weight on the
line and set the hook. I got the fish close
enough to see that it was a crappie before it
got off. It was time to switch rods and go with
I cast this fly out and let it drop and
started bringing it back in. I was
using a lift drop retrieve so the blade
flips a little more. I had moved about 5
feet when I felt a sold hit. I had a nice
crappie on the line. I cast to the area again
and caught another one. After that I could
not get a hit on anything.
I moved about 40 feet to the south, where
the water is shallower, and got set up again.
No luck on crappie, but I did get a gill on
the SMP. I decided to try the sinking line
and see what would happen. I was slowly
retrieving the line when it took off sideways.
The water might be cooling but this bass wanted
to fly. She came out of the water four times
before I got her to the canoe. She measured out
at about 18 inches. I put her back in to fight
again another day. With the commotion I decided
to move again.
I went about another 30 feet to the south. I
tried the flasher with no luck and got another
gill on the SMP. I caught two more bass on the
sinking line moving the fly very slowly. Both
were about 14 inches long. They were fun
to catch, but they disturbed the water a lot.
By now I am getting to the shallow end of the
pond where the water stays about 5 to 6 feet
deep over the whole expanse. It is a nice broad
flat to fish. I move out more to the center and
anchor the canoe. With the system Joe has this
takes just a few seconds to raise or lower the
anchor so moving is not a hassle. I get a few
gills in this area but the action is very
slow. I try the Hares Ear but no fish seem
to be there.
I move over to the east side of the pond
and up to where the breaklines are again.
I try the flasher first and have no luck.
I try the SMP and get one light tap. I decided
to change to another nymph pattern and see
if the gills like that. I cast near the shore
and bring the fly out. It has moved about 3
feet when it is slammed. This gill took the
fly like a freight train. I had to remove it
with my forceps. I picked up a few more gills
and a couple of bass along here.
The last bass I caught slipped out of my hand
and fell in the bottom of the canoe. As I reached
to pick it up the bass regurgitated a leech. Now I am
not always the brightest guy on the block, but
I knew what I was going to tie on. I tied an
unweighted leech on the sinking line and cast
it out. I caught several fish, mostly bass on
this fly. The largest bas was almost 24 inches
I was still on the hunt for crappie and headed
toward the dam. I cast with the flasher and had
another crappie take the fly. This fish came
off about 10 feet from the canoe. I changed
to another flasher that I tied so the hook is
more horizontal when it is presented. On the
next cast I had a solid strike. It was another
crappie and this one was hooked in the roof of
the mouth. I caught another dozen fish in this
area before they turned off.
I moved up the pond again, but could not find
any more crappie. I did get a few more gills
on the leech pattern, one of which was huge.
At first I thought it was a hybrid gill, but
there aren't any of those in this pond.
That fish went back in the pond to breed.
As I continued I was getting bass
to hit the fly, but not any other fish.
The wind was picking up and I decided that
it was really time to get off the pond. It
was getting hard to cast into the wind any way.
When I got home I had 16 crappie and 20 gills.
I even caught of few of them casting left handed.
I have been working on this some this summer. I
did this even before Castwell wrote his article.
It was a fun time being on the pond. The fillets
were great as them are coming out of cooler water.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick