It is December first and the bottom has dropped out
of the air temperatures. The big storm is south and
east of us. So we have the cold and the wind but no
snow. The temperatures were in the mid twenties and
the wind was about 15 mph. It appears that my fishing
days are coming to an end for this season, if the
Weather Channel is to be trusted.
I decided that I should head to the lake over my lunch
hour. I might not stay long, but the chance to catch a
fish is not something to be passed up.
The lakes and ponds are up and discolored from the rain
we got at the beginning of the week. I was happy to see
that happen. The main reason is that as the ground
freezes there is less chance of the water line to the
house freezing. The lake appears to have come up about
eight inches from the rain.
When I got to the lake it was time to try to decide what
fly might be used. I went with a garbage bugger. It was
tied on a size 8 hook. In the bag at the base of my vise
were about six strands each of some red and some yellow
flash type materials. I tied those on as a tail. There
was a short piece of olive and a short piece of brown
chenille in the bag. I also found a couple of pieces of
I tied both the hackles, one a dry fly and the other a
hen hackle on the hook. I then tied on the olive chenille
and wrapped it up the hook as far as it went and then tied
the brown chenille on to finish the body of the fly. I
palmered the hackles up the body with the dry fly hackle
behind the hen hackle. I thought the dry fly hackle might
hold the other hackle up a little better. The last thing
was to put a small set of barbell eyes on the top of the
hook. This way it would not snag as easily. Everything but
the hook and barbell eyes came out of my garbage bag,
thus the name.
I had a 9 foot leader on. I cast straight out into the pond
and let the fly drop for about 30 seconds. I wanted it to
be deep where I thought the fish might be. I made strips
of about two inches and then let the fly set again for
about five seconds.
I had moved the fly about two feet when I felt resistance
and set the hook. I had a crappie on the line. This fish
did not fight very much as the water is pretty cold. I
released this fish to grow bigger and cast out again.
This time I had moved the fly much farther before I felt
the hit. This was a nice sized bluegill that did not like
the idea of being hooked. Again, not a lot of fight, but
the fish turned sideways and put a nice bend in the rod.
After I cleaned the ice out of the guides, I tried another
cast. I managed to not do what JC preaches about. I did not
keep my back cast up and ended up with the fly being hooked
up in the bushes someplace. I had to reel in the line and
follow it to find the fly. As I was getting this fly loosened
I saw a yellow boa yarn leech that I had lost about a month
ago. Another time my back cast did not stay up.
Back to the water to try a cast that might land in the water.
When I went to make the first strip I felt resistance and set
the hook. This time it was a green sunfish that was on the
line. This was a large fish and took a while to get it in.
I had to use my forceps to reach the hook in this fish. This
is unusual for me at this time of year. Most of the fish are
My next cast went to a place that I had not aimed at. A
gust of wind came up and dropped the fly about three feet
farther south than I had wanted it to go. I was afraid I
might get caught in some brush that is out there. A nice
bass took care of that for me. She inhaled the fly and
then headed for the middle of the pond. I let her go with
just a little pressure. I had a light leader on and did
not want to break it. After about ten minutes I had a nice
bass to the shore. She was about 16 inches long and was
returned to the water.
It was time to leave. My fingers were numb. I could not
feel the line as I retrieved it. I am going to have to
look into a pair of fishing gloves so I can stay out
longer. I had been smart enough to leave the keys in
the truck. That meant I could start it and get some
warm air going.
It was fun to be out and even more fun to catch four
species of fish on a garbage fly. I will try this fly
again if the thing I did not wanna see stays away. In
all the little bays and along the shore where the
vegetation is still sticking up through the water
there was ice today.
I am not sure how many days are left.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~