Thursday and Friday of this week were carbon copy days. The clouds,
temperature, wind and water clarity on both days was as close as you can get
it. It was one of those times that I felt that I would do well at the lake
on Friday, because I had figured out everything on Thursday.
Thursday I went out to the lake, but went to the settling pond as the wind
was not quite as bad there. It took a few casts before I caught the first
fish. The fly had to drop a fair distance and then had to be retrieved very
slowly. After that it was just a matter of getting a decent distance on the
cast and then letting the fly drop and waiting for the fish to decided to
take the fly.
I was using a black boa yarn leech, a gilly, and a chili pepper fly (in the
Fly of the Week Archives). It did not matter which fly I used the fish would
take them. None of the takes were hard hits but more resistance of the line
or the twitch of the line going side ways. In either case a little flick of
the wrist and the fish were hooked.
The third fish that I hooked into was a good size bass that went all over
the pond. Why is it that the bigger bass always hit the fly on the rod with
the lightest tippet? This rod had 5 X tippet on it and I knew that I could
not horse this fish, but would have to try to keep it up out of the brush
and junk on the bottom of the pond. I had the rod held up above my head as
far as I could to get it to keep the fish up higher in the water column.
With a lot of luck the fish stayed up and I managed to get her in and get a
length on her. She was 22 inches long and had been eating a lot as she was
very round. It was great fun to have her on the rod.
I picked up a few more gills and then had a surprise as I caught a couple of
crappie in a row. I was not sure that I would get any crappie this late in
the year, but the drive to eat must be pushing them to come to the flats to
eat, even during the middle of the day.
My next cast went to the place that I was not aiming at. This happens a lot
when I am casting into the wind, and a fair number of times when there is no
wind. The fly landed near a large clump of algae that was caught in the
weeds at the side of the pond. I knew there was not much more than a foot of
water there. I did not think that any fish would be in that close to shore
and in that shallow of water, as everything else had been hooked farther
The fly had just hit the water, and I was calling my self names
for a poor cast, when there was a swirl on the fly and I was into
a fish. I knew it was a fish of some size as it went out into the
pond and headed for the bottom. After a minute or so I began to
think catfish, but that shallow and close to shore in the middle
of the day? After having a great deal of luck I finally
got the fish up and could see that it was a channel cat. At that point the
fish decided that I was too ugly to be around and headed back out into the
pond. We traded line back and forth for several more minutes before I felt
that I was getting some control over the fish.
I had heard the vehicle stop behind me earlier, and then there
was another fisherman there with his net. He said that he
thought it would be easier to land this fish in the net than
to try to lip it. Also, he wanted to see the size of the fish. I got the
fish up close and he scooped her up in the net. The scale on the net said
seven pounds. We released her with a salute for the fun of catching her.
That fish put me out of time and I needed to head back to the office.
On Friday, with all the conditions being the same, I headed out to the
settling pond again. I had the same flies on and thought I would be battling
fish. That is what I get for thinking. I cast over the whole area with all
three flies. I fished them at all the depths and with various retrieves.
I did not catch a single fish. I did not have a single strike. I even
changed flies and went to some other patterns to try that. No luck with any
flies that I tried.
I have my suspicions that someone came in and seined the pond out. That must
be the reason that I was not catching fish. I was using the same things that
had been successful the day before. If it works once, isn't it supposed to
work again? And if it does not work then by changing to other flies then
something should work.
I spent part of an hour working on that batch of water. I used several flies
and just did not get anything. This does not happen to me very often. But it
does happen and I know that for some reason the fish are just not
I am not sure why. The conditions seemed to be the same. As far as I could
tell I was fishing the same way. I was casting over the same area the fish
had been in the day before. I was doing everything right. The only problem
was the fish did not consider it right.
The only thing I can really tell you is that I got some left handed casting
practice in. That is REALLY the reason I went out to the lake today. I
wanted to practice the left-handed casting and the catching of the fish
was a minor detail. I am finding more and more times that casting left
handed is beneficial to making a good presentation. That is why I am
If you believe that I was not interested in catching fish, I have an options
on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Eiffel Tower.
Hope you can get out on the water, with better luck than my Friday. ~