I have been tying up some leeches using
boa yarn, eyelash yarn and crow body feathers.
I had tied a few and they were working fairly
well for me so I decided I needed more so I
would have them in different sizes and with
different size bead heads on them. So I tied
them on hooks from size 6 to 10 with different
size and colored bead heads. I also tied some
of them with more turns of yarn or feather and
some that were more palmered style. I also tied
a few with white boa and eyelash yarn. I tied
a few with a yellow boa type yarn.
I brought some of them with me so I could use
them over my lunch hour. I figured that this
would be a good test to see how they worked. I
was all ready to do it on Tuesday when it rained.
I was glad for the rain, but why did it have to
rain over the lunch hour? Not that I am addicted
to go to the lake or anything like that.
On Thursday I went out, without much hope of
catching anything. I was about 85 degrees with
very little breeze going on. But this was the
time I had and it is more fun that sitting inside.
I decided to fish the settling pond first. I was
a little surprised to see that the level of the
pond had not gone up with the two plus inches
of rain we received.
I tied on a black eyelash yarn leech first and
cast it out. This fly had no weight on it. I
let it drop for a little while and then started
a very slow strip of about 3 inches and then a
4 to 5 second pause. I had moved the fly about
a foot when I saw the line twitch. I had a nice
gill on the line. I decided that if it would
work one time I would try it again. I did the
same thing and had a bass that weighed about
three pounds hit the fly. This fish; put on an
aerial show. She came out of the water 5 times
before I got her in. But what fun to have a
fish do this.
I thought she might have spooked any other
fish in this area so I cast over to the other
side of the opening and was letting the fly
drop when there was a big swirl where the fly
was. I set the hook and had another good size
bass on the line. This fish decided to come
out of the water also. But this fish decided
to do it after she got near the weeds that are
on the edge of the pond. Having a fish try to
tail walk across the weeds at the edge of the
pond does get the heart going. I moved out onto
a rock that is by the edge of the water and put
the rod tip down perpendicular to the weed line
but near the water to try to move the fish away
from the weeds. I finally got her away from the
weeds and into the area where I could feel a
little more confident of handling her. She was
19 inches long and fat like a football. I
returned her to fight another day.
I was curious and decided to try a popping bug
to see if I could get any top water hits, since
she had been so close to the surface. I cast of
with the popping bug, with a midge dropper, and
let the fly sit until the rings were gone. This
was a red live foam body, with yellow legs and
purple feathers for the legs with a green hackle
wrapped at the back of the foam (see Ricks Favorite
Bluegill Flies for the black one). I then twitched
it and let it sit again. I was just getting ready
to move the fly again when a bass attacked it from
the side. This fish came across the surface and
just smashed into the fly and kept on going. I
just held on and let the line set the hook when
it tightened up. This fish was only about 12
inches long but what great fun to have it hit
I was not sure if there would be any more
fish out there but I cast the bug out again.
This time I had moved it in about two feet
when the popping bug began to move sideways.
I had a big green sunfish on the line. This
fish had taken the midge dropper and was not
happy about being attached to a line. I had
attached the midge with 5 X tippet so I did
not want to horse the fish. I got this fish
in and measured her at just under 12 inches
long. A very good size for this pond. I was
out of time and needed to head back to work.
When I went out Friday, the wind was
blowing a little more and I did not
think the popping bug would work. I
changed to a black boa yarn leech to
see if it would work as well as the
eyelash yarn leech. I went back to
the same place I had been Thursday
and cast the eyelash yarn leech out.
I let it drop and started the same
type of retrieve as I had Thursday.
No bites after about 5 cast covering
most of the area I can reach at this
pond. I cast this fly out and was
reeling it in when a gill decided
that he wanted a meal in motion.
He came up and hit this fly and was
hooked because the fly was moving so
fast. I had been bringing the fly in
just under the surface, causing the
water to bulge up in front of the fly.
As always, if it works once try it again.
I could not get the constant, consistent
movement by stripping the line so I was
reeling it in. I caught several more gills
and a few bass doing this. I did use the
other rod with the boa yarn leech and it
worked just as well, as long as it was
moving fairly fast.
I don't really know why the retrieves
had to be so different, but I will adapt
to get a fish to bite.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick email@example.com