I went out Saturday morning for my norm reconstitution
of the soul, according to my wife. I got out to the pond
at 5:45 am. It was just starting to get light, but it was
light enough to see what I was doing. This is a pond that
I have not been to for a few years. I used to fish it,
but then it changed hands and I just received permission
to fish it again.
This pond is almost rectangular, about 10 yards wider
and longer than a football field. The deepest water is
about 12 feet deep and that is about the third of the
pond nearest the dam. About two thirds of the rest of
the pond is from five to 8 feet deep. The far end is
silted in some and is from one to 3 feet deep. This
siltation was from when the land was farmed, but it
has been pasture for the last 10 years. This pond
lies in an east-west orientation. Trees have been
planted on the north side and there is about a foot
between the water and the trees. This pond has gills,
crappie, green sunfish, bass and a few channel catfish
in it. The owner wants the bass and catfish left in for
him to catch.
When I pulled up to the pond, I could see a great
deal of activity on the pond. In fact the water
looked like it was boiling at times everywhere on
the pond. I will admit to a little, "fish fever"
and it took a little longer to get everything off
the pickup and loaded into the canoe. I had visions
of a hundred fish day in my head.
I got into the canoe and moved it out so the canoe
was still just barely caught in the 10 foot wide strip
of water weeds around most of this pond. This is a
good place to cast from and I have potential targets
all over the place. Fish would rise in one spot and
then go down, to have more come up in another spot. I
did figure out that it was some sort of hatch, but I
had not seen anything come off the water and had not
found any bugs on the vegetation around the pond. I
thought that I could catch the emergence of whatever
I had tied on a size 16 PTN and had a black popper
with a black midge trailer on it to start with. I
cast the PTN out and did not really let it drop before
I started to slowly retrieve this with a lift - pause
retrieve. I did this eight times with no strikes. I
changed to the popper/midge combo and cast it out and
let it set. Fish swirled around it but no takers.
I try several other flies, usually in tandem and I
am not having any success. The visions of a hundred
fish days are becoming vision of an "any fish" day.
I do have to tell you that I have not ran onto a hatch
like this before. Usually I could see the bugs coming
I decide it is time to go very small. I have tied some
bead head flies on size 20 and 22 hooks. Yes I did find
beads small enough to go onto those hooks. Most of these
I tied with just thread to form the body. On a few I
used other things. These are tiny little flies, but when
the other things don't work it is time to try them.
I tied a black and a white one on one rod about a foot
apart. The other rod and a light olive and a red pattern
tied in tandem. I cast these out and just let them drop.
They do this very slowly as there is not much weight to
them. I waited to see if something would happen. About
a minute later the one line stated to move, I set the
hook and had nothing. I wondered if I might have to wait
longer, as the hook is so small I might have pulled it
out, but at least I had a bite.
I left the line out and waited again. In a minute or two
the line started to move again. I waited until the line
tightened and then gave a very small tug on the rod. I
had a gill on the line. I worked this fish in carefully
and got it near the canoe before the hook came out. But
I could see that the fish was on the white bug.
I cast this out again and let it sit. Again the line
moved and I waited until it tightened up before giving
a light tug on the line. This time I managed to get the
gill into the canoe. This was my first fish in an hour
of fishing. Again it was on the white bug. So I changed
all the flies to the white pattern and cast both lines
By letting the flies just settle in the water column,
every few minutes I would have a bite. Many of these
fish I lost as they got near the canoe, but at least
I was hooking them. I did manage to get a few more
fish into the boat. I probably caught about 10% of
the fish I hooked. Many of them were barely lip hooked
and got off near the canoe.
I fished until I began to have guilt feelings about
being out so long. On my next to last cast I managed
to get a crappie on the line. I even got this fish
into the canoe. But it was time to go and my dreams
of a hundred fish day were in ruins.
I got home and found that I had caught 15 gills and
the crappie. I had returned a few bass. It had been
a fun morning, but I was going to find out what the
fish were eating.
After filleting the fish, I opened the stomachs on
all of them. They all were stuffed full of the pupal
stage of an insect. They were about 1/16 of an inch
long and a cream/white color. Just about the length
of the fly I had been using, But these bugs were
twice the diameter of my flies. I did not find
anything else in the stomachs of these fish. They
were keyed in on this one bug.
I did see a couple of "moth like" bugs, about 3/8 of
an inch long, flying around when I got off the pond.
That is all I could tell about them as I could not
get any close. They were a white color though. I am
going to have to do some research on this. Let me
know if you have any idea what this bug might be.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick email@example.com