The New Year has come and been survived. The weather is
balmy and the fields are dry. It is Saturday and time to
go to a pond. A great way to start the New Year, especially
as the ponds are usually frozen over. I could even take
the canoe out this time. I had checked Friday night about
the possibility of going into a pond. I found that I could
go as the cattle were not on the field.
When I got to the pond, I found the landowner there fishing.
He had been out for about 30 minutes, with no success. I got
the canoe off the truck and everything loaded in and on the
I tried a few casts from shore, but did not have any success.
I put the canoe into the water and moved offshore a little way.
One thing about this pond is that it is below another small
pond. The upper pond is not very deep. It has no fish in it,
but it has a good supply of leeches in it. Every time that
it rains very much, some of the leeches get washed out of
this pond and down into the lower pond. The fish are used
to seeing leeches, so I was going to fish a leech pattern.
I cast out the crow body feather leech that had not worked
the previous week. I knew that I was around a breakline that
went from about 4 feet of water to 9 feet of water in about
a 4-foot distance. I thought some fish might be suspending
along this breakline. There is no weight on this fly, so it
takes some time to drop. But it moves very slowly and there
is a lot of movement from the feather barbs.
The fly had dropped for a count of 18 when I saw the line
twitch. I set the hook and had a nice crappie on the line.
I got this fish in and cast out again. Again, at the count
of 18 the line twitched and I had another crappie on the
line. The next cast did not result in a strike. I moved
about 15 feet and cast again.
It was almost a carbon copy of what had happened before.
Everything, but landing the fish. I saw the silver flash
of a crappie, but she was off before I got her to the canoe.
The next cast was a carbon copy of this one. Hook the fish,
but off before I could get my grubby big hands on her.
What I found was that I would hook two fish about every 15
feet, but that was it. More casts in that area did not result
in any more fish. I was landing about one out of five fish
that I hooked.
I tried a few other patterns but the fish were not interested
in them. So it was back to the leech.
By this time I was fairly close to the landowner. He had
not caught any fish. When he said he was leaving, I asked
him if he would like a few fish? He said yes, so I gave
him the five he would need for dinner. I was having fish
hit the fly and I could always get more. Why not? I was
To shorten the story, I left the pond with one fish in
the basket. I could not get another fish to hit any of
the flies that I tried. I spent about another two hours
on the pond. I covered all of the water all over that
pond. I even went back over the places I had hooked fish
before, after the water had rested for an hour, but no
I finally swallowed my pride and left the pond. Those
fined creatures, with those little brains, had out done
me again. I am not sure what had changed and why the fish
were not biting anymore.
Maybe I needed a lesson in not being so darn smug that
I would catch more fish. Who knows, but a few folks got
a good laugh out of it when they found out about it.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick