I waited a while to go out Saturday morning. It
was raining fairly hard, which was nice as we
still need the moisture. In the far distance I
could see the flash of lightening. I did not hear
a rumble, but that is close enough to keep me off
At 8:00 am the radar picture showed most of the rain
to be past us. The big thing was that all of the storms
with thunder and lightening seemed to be far away. Now
it was just a matter of deciding where to go. Any pond
that was in the middle of a field was out. Enough rain
had fallen that I was sure that I would never get into
or out of the fields around the pond. Or if I could I
would have to leave ruts in the field and I refuse to
do that when I am on someone else's property.
That meant the small lake where the city water comes
from or driving about 12 to 15 miles to get to another
pond where I can drive to the water's edge. I opted for
the closest one. This lake just opened up again this year
for the public to fish. It had been controlled by a
Sportsman Association before. A walking path has been
put around most of the lake and the City Fathers did
not want folks hunting in this area any more.
The one thing I did before I took off was to pick up
the 6 wt rod I have with a sinking fly line on it. I
know that this is ancient stuff as the whole line sinks.
But I have it and it has not worn out, so I still use
it. Someday it will get replaced with a sinking tip
line, but that is in the future.
It was still sprinkling when I got to the lake, but
that does not phase the fish at all. I got the canoe
set up and got out on the water. There is a pumping
station about 60 feet out from the dam about one-quarter
of the way down the dam from the east end. I had been
told that there were always some crappie around this
place as it has four round posts that hold the equipment
up. There is one metal cable going down between the
pilings and another that is about 5 feet out on the
I slowly worked my way toward this as I wanted to see
if there were any fish in that area. This was fishing
new water to me. I got about 25 feet from the pumping
station and put down an anchor. There was not much
breeze, but I wanted to be stationary for a while. With
the anchoring system Joe Hyde helped me with it is quick
and easy to raise and lower the anchors.
I made a few casts with a 5 wt, letting the fly drop for
a count of about 15, before starting the retrieve. I was
moving it very slowly and letting it pause for a few
seconds every foot or so.
I had done this three times when I felt the resistance
on the line. I had an eight-inch crappie on the line.
I did this three more times on the next three casts,
with carbon copy crappie. Each of these had been
hooked within five feet of the pilings.
Time to change flies to see if something would work.
I had been using an unweighted yellow boa yarn leech.
I went with the same flies, but with a bead head. I
wanted to see if the fish would hit the fly on the
drop. I also wondered if I got deeper if there might
be some larger fish.
I cast the fly about 10 feet beyond the piling and let
it drop. I was going to let it swing down until it was
about 8 feet deep, the length of my leader. This would
let me know what depth the fish were at. The fly had
dropped for a while when I saw the line twitch and I
did the hook set.
It was another carbon copy crappie. But it hit the fly
on the drop. This told me that the bead head fly would
work and get to the depth faster.
I picked up another dozen crappie around the pilings
doing this. All of them hit at the same depth, by the
countdown method. All of them were the same size. I
had been told that there were larger crappie in this
pond. I had to try for them.
I tied a Thief (see
Ricks Favorite Crappie Flies in the archives) on
the sinking line. Casting the sinking line is not my
favorite thing to do, but it is the only
way to get down 15 feet with the equipment that I have.
I made a very ugly cast and got about 35 feet of line
out. I let it drop for a long time and then started
slowly retrieving the fly. I moved it about two inches,
slowly and then let it set for a few seconds. I wanted
it to look like a minnow moving along the bottom.
I had moved the fly about three feet doing this when
the line did not move as easily as it had before. I
did a hook set and had a fish on the line. When I got
the fish up closer, I reached for the net as I did not
want to take a chance of losing this fish. It was a
huge crappie. It turned out to be 18 inches long.
By doing this same thing I was able to catch three
more crappie, all about 13 inches long. Then it came
to an end. There had been two other boats out on the
lake, at the north end. When they saw me catching
fish, they came down and set up right next to the
pilings. They started dropping lines and that ended
my casting at that place.
It was irritating to have this happen. I decided that
this was probably a good time to move to another spot
and see what I might catch. I moved about 60 feet away
from these two boats and dropped the anchor again. I
had caught three fish when one of the boats came by me
and anchored about 10 feet away from me.
I picked everything up and got it organized to leave.
When I headed out of the water, I wanted to be able
just to load things and then go. I had a feeling these
folks might follow me to see what I was using.
I got the canoe loaded and all the other stuff into
the pickup in fairly quick time. I was just getting
ready to leave when one of the boats came to the
shore. They wanted me to stop so they could see what
I had caught and what I had used.
I told them I had caught some fish and I had used some
flies. I also told them I thought they were rude and
that was all the information they would get from me.
I got in the truck and drove away.
The day overall was fun and I got some good fish. It
was fun to catch them. The rude folks can't take that
Hope you can get out on the water. ~