I decided to fly-fish a public pond during lunch, one I'd visited only a couple of times this year. I got there, and there was a car parked near the sidewalk entrance to the park. I looked down the walking path, and could see 2-3 kids and a mom/babysitter playing and enjoying the sunshine.
There was a decent breeze blowing, so I wanted the wind at my back if possible. These folks were where I wanted to fish. I left them to their spoils, and decided to try a second nearby public pond that I've only ever fished a couple times, ever. I also have never had much success at Pond #2. The water is usually stained, seems shallow, and no shoreline cover to speak of. It can also get a bad case of algae mats along the shorelines. In short...I wasn't too excited about it, had extremely low expectations. But at least I wouldn't have kids running around behind me while casting!
I walked by the narrow shallow end where water enters the pond through a culvert. There wasn't much more than a steady trickle/drip entering, so no current to speak of. It was WINDY, however. The water was clearer than I'd ever seen it, which isn't saying much...I could probably see some features on the bottom in water less than 18". I saw one bluegill right near the culvert as I passed by. I headed to another corner where a secondary culvert was slowly dripping water into the pond. Theres a tiny bit of rip rap here I hoped fish might forage around.
I made a dozen casts with a chartreuse microjig. Nothing. Something about the water color made me decide to put on a dark-colored pattern, so I selected a black #10 Boudreaux from my fanny pack and attached it to my line. I moved around the corner and started walking along the side of the pond. I spotted 2 bluegills darting away from a thin strip of shoreline algae mat. I also saw a couple of rings on the surface out away from shore. With my polarized sunglasses on, I could see 2 bluegills feeding near the surface.
I cast a bit further than I should have...closer to the furthest bluegill. The near one started chasing the end of my fly line, then sunk out of site. The further one also sunk out of site. I picked up my line and cast back to the same spot. Strip strip STRIKE! Fish on. Of course it was a bluegill. It was 7.5"-8" range, and very pale in coloration, most likely due to the stained water.
I saw no more bluegills away from shore. I caught one near shore from that area, then moved on down the shoreline to a smaller culvert. I picked up a third bluegill near that one, and moved on down to yet another small culvert. I caught another bluegill there. It darted out from beneath some floating algae and hammered the Boudreaux. I cast down along the shoreline and had another strike but missed it.
I began walking back towards my car to leave, looking along the shoreline for signs of fish. I got back to the spot where I'd caught the first 2 bluegills, and saw one bluegill and one small largemouth bass near shore. I cast near them. The bass slunk towards deeper water. The bluegill followed but didn't hit. I cast again, and a small bass I had not seen darted out and hit the nymph imitator. It too was extremely pale. Its lateral line was nearly invisible.
Well...despite my low expectations...that was actually sort of fun! There are a good number of ponds I'd rather go back to than that one, but at least it provided a good challenge and some action during my lunch hour.