I went out to the lake again over my lunch hour. I know
the fish will be hitting soon and it is a fun way to spend
the time. Got out there and noticed that there were small
ring rises all over the little settling pond on the one side
of the road.
I figure that this water would be a few degrees warmer and
that it would be a better place to fish. Rigged up with a
couple of my favorite flies and started casting. I was getting
the sum total of nothing. I decided to watch what was happening
around the pond. I needed a clue to know what was going on.
I glanced to the side and saw a good size bass swimming in
the shallow water. I then saw her rise up and sip something
just under the surface or on it, I couldn't tell. I decided
it was time to try one of the little flies that I had tied.
I had been in a hackle swap and got several different colors
of hackles to use. One of them was some midge feathers so I got
some small hooks and tied up some midges. When a size 16 had
been your 'small hook' and you go to size 18 to 22, those things
get very small. I tied up several different patterns I found online.
Tied on a size 22 black midge and cast it out in the general
area where I had seen the bass swimming. Let it set there,
partially because I could not see it and also I thought the
bass might come back in again. In about a minute I saw the
bass swimming along again and coming up to the surface to
sip something. I wondered if she would take the midge but
just had to wait as I was not sure exactly where it was.
She rose up again and I saw the line twitch so I set the hook.
She took great exception to this and went ballistic. She came
out of the water three times before I got her landed. She was
16 inches long and full of eggs. I admired her for a few seconds
and then looked for the fly. Finally found it on the inside of
her lip and got it removed to let her swim again.
I then noticed a couple of small gills were in the shallow water
and making small rise form rings. I had always thought that all
the little rings that I was seeing were made by gills or very
small bass. Even I learn after a while so I thought that maybe
some of the other risers out in the pond might be decent size fish.
Cast out in the area where I could see the rings and let the
fly set. After less than a minute the line twitched and I set
the hook. I had a bluegill that was about eight inches long.
He put a nice bend in the rod and cut some nice circles before
he came in.
I moved down the shore line a little ways and cast out again.
This time I got a bass of about twelve inches. This continued
to happen as I went up and down the shore line I could cover.
The interesting things is that I also caught a couple of crappie
that were about six inches long. This was not something that I
My guess is that the competition for food is fairly severe and
every fish is taking what it can find. I never did see what they
were taking but the fly was working for me and that was good
This is the first time that I have been aware of bass coming up
and sipping insects like they were small fish. Should have
guessed this, because trout do it. I had always assumed that
bass would swirl, slash or jump at a fly. This taught me I
should not make as many assumptions as I have.
Also, I need to tie more small flies.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~
Rick (Written May 5, 2003)