It was opening day of pheasant season. That means that I go out fishing
during the middle of the day, when fewer hunters are out in the fields. I
just feel safer under those conditions. At this time of year it is also a
little warmer than being out at daybreak.
As I drove up to the pond that I wanted to fish, I saw vehicles leaving the
field on the other side of the pond, I knew that I would have a few hours
before anyone returned to hunt, if they came back to this spot. The other
thing that helps is that it was about 20 degrees warmer than it had been at
daybreak. I reason that the fish are more active then, but it may be a
little more comfortable for me also.
I got out on the pond and started casting along a break line at the dam end.
There did not seem to be much happening. The wind was blowing about 15 mph
out of the south. I decided to go to the north side of the pond and cast
into the wind. This way I could bring the flies back with the wind and that
might just interest the fish.
I cast out with a popper/PTN dropper combination and let them sit on the
water. I cast out with a Skip Morris Panfish fly in red and yellow on the
other rod. I was slowly retrieving the SMP when I noticed that the popper
was not moving in like it had been before. I grabbed the rod and I had a fish
It was a nice gill that had taken the PTN. I cast this combo out again and
watched it a little more closely as I was casting the other fly. After three
casts with the SMP, I noticed the popper had stopped again. It was another
nice gill on the line.
It was time to change the fly on the second rod. I got some Aberdeen jig
hooks and tied some patterns on those to use during the fall. These hooks
have a 90 degree bend on the shank so the eye is about level with the hook
point. I can tie patterns on these and they stay fairly level when they are
I put on a black leech pattern and cast it out. I had shortened the leader
to about five feet also. I wanted the fly to drop and then come in at the
speed of the waves would move the end of the line. That is the way I had
caught fish on the popper/PTN dropper rig and I wondered if that is what
the fish wanted.
The fly had moved about five feet when I saw the end of the
line start to go under the surface of the water. I set the
hook and had a nice crappie on the line. While bringing this
fish in I saw two more fish swimming around the one on the line.
I cast this out again and let it drop. I held the rod, but did not do
anything to the line. I just let the wind push the end of the line back
towards me. That is all the action that the fish wanted in the fly. I would
have a strike on almost every cast. Well not really a strike, but I would
see the end of the fly line start to go under water. When I would tighten
the line I would have a fish on it. I did loose several fish, but I think
they were crappie and I did not have them hooked well.
I did try retrieving the fly again and that did not work. I had to let the
wind move it, that was the only way the fish would take the fly. The bites
were very soft.
My guess is that as the water is cooling, the fish are moving slower and the
fly has to be right on their nose to be taken. All of the fish were hooked
fairly deeply in their mouth.
I caught several bass as I was doing this. The bass went from about 6 to 15
The fly had to be moving super slowly to get the fish to take it. All these
fish were in water from 5 to 8 feet deep. All of them were caught when
casting out with the wind in my face.
I went home with a fair number of fish. They were good eating.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~