Rick Zieger - Mar 2015

It was mid-November and the weather had been unseasonably warm. The ice that was on the ponds was gone. That means that the rods have to go into the truck and the truck needs to find a pond. Several of the ponds were not available as the ground was to wet to drive into them. I had not been stuck all year and this is not the time to do that. I headed to a pond that is easy to walk into and has very few trees around it.

I got to the pond with two rods; a 5 weight graphite and a bamboo rod. The flies on the leaders were a Hares Ear type fly and a yellow boa yarn leech. This would allow me to find out if an imitative or attractor flies work best. My inclination was that imitative will be better as ice has been on the pond. The pond lies north-south with the dam at the south end. I started fishing in the water at the southeast corner where there is a flat.

I made several casts and picked up a couple of bluegills. It was great fun to have the rod tip dance again. Both came as the fly was coming parallel to the shoreline. I also thought they might be coming from where a break line would be starting off the flat.

I turned and cast in the other direction. I knew there was a break line there. On the second cast the line felt heavy and I set the hook. I brought the fish into about five feet from the shore before the hook came out. Apparently it had been barely hooked. Over the next several casts a few more fish came to hand, but many were lost as they were barely lip hooked.

All of the fish had been hooked on the hare's ear. I did not have a single hit on the yellow boa yarn leech. I changed the yellow boa and put on a smaller Hare's Ear that was smaller than the one I had been using on the other rod. I cast this out to see how it would work but nothing happened in this area.

I moved about 20 feet and tried again. I had some hits on each fly; well more of a heavy feeling on the line and not a hit. I landed about one of four fish that hit and many were just barely hooked and the hook tore out of the lip. I managed to get them close enough to see that. This continued as I moved across the dam. I reached the end of the dam and moved to the west side. There is a large area that slopes up to the shore and about 35 feet off shore it is about five feet deep. The bottom then slopes up to about six inches deep at the shoreline. There are a few depressions in this area. I know where they are from being in the canoe on earlier trips when the water was clear.  

I continued to have fish take the fly, but most of them were getting off. You can't catch what you don't hook. I had been using size 14 and 16 flies. I decided to put on a size 18 and a size 20, however this did not work out. The fish did not seem to want these sizes. Went back to the larger size and picked up a few more fish.

One disadvantage at this time of year is that sunset happens earlier. I decided that going home was a good idea. I got the fish taken care of just before the sun totally disappeared. I had a few more than I thought, and I had fillets to eat and to share. My better half was happy since the shack nasties will be put off for a while. So you can look at this as a bonus day or that I lied when I wrote about my Last Trip of 2014.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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