…or, We’re Lucky Dogs and You’re Not, but We Wouldn’t Gloat or Anything Like That.
I didn’t know how or when, but I knew this blogging thing would eventually pay off. Pay day finally came last Friday when Insane and I were invited to fish a private pond. Actually, it was two private ponds. Eat your hearts out, covetous masses! I’m not telling the location for fear the landowner will be overrun with bluegill-hungry mobs. All I’m saying is they lie generally west of Huntsville.
Our host contacted me by email* a few weeks ago. He mentioned he had a couple of 2.5 acre ponds that he’d love to have us fish, and the only cost to us would be answering some questions about how to improve his fly casting. I downheartedly informed the gentleman that Insane and I weren’t necessarily the place to look for casting instruction – serious understatement there. The mood brightened considerably when he said to come anyway. It was decided that I would bring my collection of bamboo rods for him to try out, and he would let me give his light-as-a-feather 2 wt rod a workout.
Insane and I arrived at the farm around 8:30 (half an hour late due both to a serious misjudging of Huntsville/Decatur traffic and Insane’s dependence on caffeine). After introductions, our host loaded us onto an atv for a tour around the farm. We first circled the “Upper Pond” which was crystal clear and chock-full of bluegills gearing up for the spawn. We then circled the “Lower Pond” where the water was decidedly murkier. We were informed that it held “bigger bass.” I got twitchy. I tried not to, but the thought of big bass and bluegills just does it to me. I’m lucky I didn’t break a guide off my South Bend #47 in my rush to get rigged up. Our host and his wife left us to ourselves for a bit while they took care of some farm chores.
We decided to start on the Upper Pond, the idea being that we’d save the big fish in the Lower Pond for later. You know, delayed gratification. Plus those delicious swarms of big bluegills we’d spotted were just too much to pass up. It didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. Perhaps it’s common among folks who fly fish for trout fairly often, but I for one tend toward the idea that bluegills and bass are “easy” fish. They’ll hit “pretty much any old thing,” and it doesn’t much matter how you present it. Well, sometimes that’s the case, and sometime’s it’s not. This was one of those “not” times. The rational (and smaller) side of my brain knows from my tournament fishing days that bass in particular are often anything but “easy,” and they can even get fairly selective about what kind or color of lure they want. But the irrational (and much larger) side of my brain leaps and barks and wags its tail like a hyperactive pug at the thought, nay knowledge, that it’s about to catch monstrous bass by the bucketload. Continue reading Private Pond Fishing