Last Saturday morning I had been contacted to take a
friend out fishing. When he called he said that he
wanted to learn to fly cast and then go fishing.
We met and headed out to a pond. Got the canoe unloaded
and stuff put in it and then started the lesson. He had
a poor instructor to teach him. He got to where he could
cast about 25 to 30 feet. At this point he wanted to get
on the pond and try for fish.
We reversed his seating in the canoe so we could each
cast on a different side of the canoe. I decided that
we needed to be out over a little deeper water so we
would both have room to cast.
We each tied on different flies and started casting.
He thought that since it was the end of June we should
be fishing a little deeper as the fish would not be on
the surface. I always start fishing high in the water
column and go down, in ponds especially. I had caught
three gills and two crappies when he asked me what we
were doing differently.
I told him to let the fly drop about ten seconds and
then start to slowly retrieve it with about three inch
pulls with a pause. On his next cast he caught a crappie.
After that we would catch a fish about every five minutes.
That is a slow rate for this pond and the number of fish
I finally pulled my anchor up and started to drift slowly
with the breeze. As we continued to cast the action picked
up. It seems that the fish were scattered and that as we
moved we would run into them. We drifted by a few fish
that we could see. When we cast to these we saw that
they would not move very far to get the fly. We had to
get the fly to within a foot of them before they would
go for it. Also if we hooked one fish then all the rest
we could see around it were spooked and gone.
That set the tempo for the day. We continued to drift
and pick up fish. My friend did take into a bass that
weighted about 3.5 pounds. It was great fun to watch
him fight this fish. He is used to bait casting equipment
and skating fish across the surface to bring them in. He
was having more fun than a kid in a candy store.
The breeze finally took us to the far end of the pond.
We reeled all the line in and paddled back toward the
dam to start another drift. This time it seemed that
every time the fly hit the water a fish would hit it.
We missed several because we did not set the hook fast
enough, but another would hit it in a short time.
We spent about 2.5 hours fishing. At that point he needed
to leave as he had a meeting to go to later and wanted to
help clean the fish we had kept. We released 35 to 40 bass
from twelve inches to about seventeen inches. We tossed at
least three dozen huge gills back into the pond.
We still kept over 100 fish. We fished less than 25%
of the surface area of the pond.
As we were loading everything on the truck, the wind
stopped blowing. My friend said to look at the pond.
There were fish rising all over. It almost looked like
the water was boiling. We saw a few bugs fly off but I
was too far from them to tell what they were. We guessed
that we were seeing a thousand rise forms at any time
on the pond.
After we finished filleting the fish, which I taught
him to do, he took a few for a meal and told me to
give the rest away. He also told me that I had to
take him out again, but that next time he would have
his own rod to use.
Guess I made a convert.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (written 07/02/2003)