It was a Saturday morning. It had not rained for a couple of days.
With all the rain we have had lately that is a major event. I knew
most of the fields would be to wet too drive in and decided to go
to the game preserve. I can drive to this on rock roads. There is
no real hike to get to the water.
That means I could take the canoe out for the first time this year.
I loaded the canoe and all the other stuff that I "need" when I go
out in the canoe. This would be the first time that I had fished
with four fly rods ready to go. When I hike in it is two rods.
I am hoping that the water would be a little clearer than some
of the other ponds. These ponds drain land that is never tilled.
Every few years the grass is burned on this land to help keep
some of the brush down, but that is about the only thing that
is done to it.
I get to the ponds and stop at the top pond. The visibility is about
four inches. I go to the lower pond and find that the visibility is
about an inch. I guess too much water has run over the dirt road
that is about 50 yards from the east end of this pond. I head back
up to the upper pond.
I get all the stuff on and in the canoe. I make my first few casts
from about 15 feet back on the shore. I wonder if there are any
fish near the edge. If so I don't want to spook them. I do get two
bass, about eight inches long, before I launch the canoe.
There are several trees that were flooded when this pond was
built. Some of those still stick up out of the water, but many of
them are just under the surface. This is a very good place to
loose a couple of flies. My hope is that the fish are relating to
structure and if I bring the flies by this stickup they will bite it.
It was a great theory, but did not work in practice. I spent an
hour casting around the different trees in the pond. I had two
small bluegill to show for my effort.
Time to change tactics. I let the wind push me until I was about
35 feet from the shoreline. I dropped the back anchor and started
casting. I cast straight out ahead of me and slowly retrieved the fly
in. I know the water is about a feet deep around the edge and
slowly drops to about six feet deep where I was anchored.
If straight ahead is 12:00 o'clock on the clock, my next casts
were where the hour hand would be for 12:30 and 11:30. I
was going to fan cast over the area and see if I could find fish.
Each successive cast to each side would move about this much
farther from the 12:00 o'clock position.
I covered a lot of water, but did not get many fish. I would pick
up a small bass, from six inches to about 12 inches long if I got
the fly right up against the shore. So I tried not to get the fly that
close to shore. I was looking for crappie and gills.
Every once in a while I would get something to hit the fly.
Most of the time I was not able to hook whatever did this.
From the fish that I caught, I would assume that this would
be very small bluegill.
I fished at all depths, usually slowly, and tried a bunch of flies.
I know that I retied flies on all the rods at least six times. That
means a minimum of two-dozen flies went into the water. I did
lose a few flies to the underwater branches. Those got replaced
with another fly when that happened.
My total for the day was 2 crappie and 8 bluegill. I also had
about two-dozen bass that I threw back in the pond. Not the
most productive day I have ever had. Now the mind is
conjuring up ideas on what to do next weekend when I head
back out. If the water is still this dirty, then I need to figure
out what to do to get the fish to be interested in the fly.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (Written 6/18/08)