I headed out to a pond on Saturday morning.
With the rain we have had during the past
few weeks I am not able to drive into many
of the ponds that I fish. The "cow paths"
are to slick or there are big mud puddles
with gumbo underneath them. I don't want
to push my luck and have to be towed out.
I headed off to a pond that is about half-a-mile
from the road. I have to cross two shallow ditches
and one fairly deep ditch to get to this pond.
All of the ditches had water in them. I did
have some luck. During one of the storms we
have had a big tree fell across the deep
ditch. I was able to cross the ditch on that
or I would not have made it to the pond.
There was just too much water in the ditch.
This meant that there would be about two feet
of mud in the bottom also. I was curious as
to why water was still in this ditch. I hiked
down a little ways and where the ditch made a
curve the bank had caved in and formed a dam.
This was holding the water back.
As the mystery was solved, I headed to the pond.
I had played with my dubbing a little more and
added some black to make it a little darker. I
had a dozen flies tied up with this dubbing and
different colors of pheasant and turkey tail for
the tail and wingcases of the flies. A few of
them had beads on them and a few had legs.
(See My Dubbing Mix).
This pond is about 60 feet wide and 150 feet
long. It starts out about 3 feet deep and goes
to about 14 feet deep before the dam starts.
The trees are all about 60 feet back from
There is very little brush around the pond.
The owner likes to cut hay on this a couple
of times a year. This had been done once so
the grass was fairly sort. Makes it nice for
I decided to start at the shallow end and
work deeper. I cast the fly out and started
to slowly retrieve it. I got it all the way
in without anything happening. I tried this
a few more times and not much happened. I
cast again and let the fly drop before I
started retrieving. I stripped the fly about
3 inches and then let it drop. This was the
ticket. I had a gill hit the fly. This fish
did something unusual. This fish jumped out
of the water after being hooked.
I cast a few more times and nothing happened.
I moved down the shore a little and cast again.
The fly had just started to drop when I saw
the line twitch. I set the hook and had a nice
crappie on the line. I had to be careful as
this fish wanted to stay on the surface. I
cast about 10 feet to the side of where I had
cast before and let the fly drop. When I
started to strip the line, I felt weight,
but I was too slow on the strike. I did
continue to do the strip and pause retrieve.
I had three more times when I felt weight on
the line but could not hook the fish.
Time to change strategy. I decided to do a
strip strike after every pause to see of I
could hook the fish. I thought they might
be inhaling the fly on the drop but spitting
it out when they felt the pressure of the line
tightening. I don't know if it is right but
it sure does make me sound like I know what
I am talking about. On the next cast I managed
to hook a fish, but lost it before I could get
it landed. I think David taught me to do long
distance releases too well.
On the next cast I did not let the fly drop
as long and made a sharper hook set. This
time I hooked a fish and got it into the
shore. As I swung the fish up, out of the
water, it came off the hook but landed on
the shore. I was barely hooking them in
the lip. I switched down to a smaller fly.
I went to a size 12 pattern and started
I did catch several more gills and a few
more crappie. I had many more strikes than
that but could not get the fish in. Most of
the fish that I caught were barely hooked in
the lip, even with the smaller size hook. I
did not see any indication of a strike on
most of these fish either.
I still had a lot of fun fishing this pond.
I hope I can get may canoe out on it sometime.
I called the land owner and told him
about the dam he had on the one ditch
and the tree that was down. He said he
would work on the ditch but probably
leave the tree alone. That would let
me get back to the pond again.
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick