September 20th, 2004
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .
By W.E. Endicott
Well withdrawals had set in. Not a chance to
get out fishing for weeks. I needed to get out,
but here I am living in the city in Arizona. A
long drive to the fishing I desire so I go out
to the "Urban Lake." Now mind you the "Urban Lake"
is a bit different - you see it's not really a lake.
Granted yes it used to be a lake but it has been
modified. We don't want anything natural in the
city because that might hurt the fishing. I mean
anything like plants or insects might bother the
fisherman. It's like, who wants to lose their bobber
to a bobber-eating reed?
It is better to eliminate all plant life. So
we introduced specialized Carp to eat anything
that wants to grow. I mean if we allowed plants
and insects in our lake something natural might
happen like a food chain. Then we would have to
deal with real fish - Heaven forbid! What we
want is a mud-bottom bathtub so we can stock
"Planted Trout," "Planted Catfish," and "Hybrids."
We wouldn't want a population to grow in our lake.
We only want "Put & Take" fishing here. A natural
system would require more than what could be
Now my quarry here is the "Hybrid." You see it's
the middle of summer here and it's predicted to
hit 109 degrees today. The artificial trout and
catfish don't get planted this time of year
because they'd die. Without a natural environment
the only species that can live here are the hybrids.
Nothing else but the Hybrid can live in these lakes
this time of year. Now this hybrid is an interesting
fish. I'm not really sure what it is. Our Game and
Fish department plants them in these lakes for the
local kids and munchkins to fish for. I understand
they combined a Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Piranha,
Pacu, and a few other oddities including some kind
of sterile species so these things won't repopulate.
You will have to contact our Game & Fish department
to get the specifications on how to build one of
these fish. The thing is they are really kind of
neat. The Bluegill in these lakes never reach more
than two inches due to the lack of food in the lake.
A 3-inch Bluegill is a true trophy to be mounted
over your tying bench. However the hybrid can reach
as large as a pound or so. Perfect for the Pan Fishing
I love to do - Not that I would eat one of these things.
I reached the lake to fish the afternoon bite. The
weather is cooling off. It's only about 104 now down
from 111. I locate the shade of a nearby tree and
adjust my casting to flow just under the branches.
My little Bead-Head Fuzzy-Wuzzy (a local fly pattern)
just doesn't attract anything yet. Things are a
little slow. It hasn't cooled off enough yet. So
I move along the bank casting here and there as I
Pretty soon I come upon a Bass Fisherman Flipping
a plastic worm hoping for a Bass. I figure he is
suffering from withdrawals just as bad as I am.
This man is desperate! I suppose it's possible
a Bass or two survived. We exchange the standard
greetings: "How's the fishing? - "Slow" - "Yeh,
hopefully it'll pick up when the weather cools off."
Then his daughter asks me "Are you Fishing?" I
answer yes that I am Fly Fishing and I turn to
show her the fly. She jumps about six foot in
the air and lands about five feet away. I explain
it's not a real fly just a hook with some rabbit
fur on it and she's OK with that.
She stands right next to me to see what I'm doing
so I show her what the fly looks like in the water
and how it imitates an insect. As I do that a
couple Bluegills follow the fly. Now she wants
me to catch one. As I am explaining that this
fly is probably too large for these fish (after
all it was a size 18) one of the fish take the
fly. I lift the fish up - a Bluegill of about
1/2 inch then look down at the girl. All I see
are two shoes. Now, I have heard the phrase
"Scared out of their shoes" but I've never seen
it actually happen before! I look up the bank
and see she's jumped clean out of her shoes about
eight feet up the bank. Normally it's the fish
that are skittish but this gal jumps at anything.
She comes down and puts her shoes back on and I
gave her the fish. She put it in a paper cup to
keep as a pet.
I move along around the lake stopping every 100
yards or so to throw a line hoping for a hybrid.
The fishing is slow and I pick up a few more
Bluegill of about two inches and move along.
Soon I approach some guys sitting on a bench
near the lake. The big boots, chain for a belt,
and headscarves tell me they're not fishing.
One of them comments, "I don't see any stringers."
So I commented back "You don't see a net either
because these fish are too small." I made another
cast - a few strips of the line and boom the line
tightens up big time. The fish gives a good fight
and soon I bring the hybrid to hand. I can tell
by the hushed comments my friends on the bench
It's a fish of about a pound or so. I take the
time to examine it as I am always trying to figure
out what it is. I can't help but think if fish had
TV this would definitely be the "Couch Potato Bluegill."
It looks like a Bluegill but it's kind of soft and fat.
The colors and fins look a bit different too but
still something like my beloved Bluegill. I move
along to fish some more. My withdrawals cured by
some kind of strange deranged species of some sort.
Maybe next week I will head for the White Mountains.
~ W.E. Endicott (PanFisher)
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