Thursday, March 29, 2012

Prairie Trail West, 3/28/2012

I visited the Prairie Trail West Pond for the first time ever.  Its a fairly new pond, which got stocked with fish about 4.5 years ago.
I fly-fished the upper 1/3 of the pond.  I wanted to see how big the fish are, but instead of using something small, I just used a #8 Woolly Bugger, black with reddish-black body.  The water was fairly clear, and I only saw frogs jumping into the shallows…no fish.  I thought that was odd.  Then I noticed the backs of fish occasionally sticking up above the water out in the middle of the channel.  That’s where the fish were for some reason!  In 45 minutes, I ended up catching 12 Bluegills, all about 7.5” long.  I also caught a hybrid sunfish that may have been closer to 8”.  That means it was stocked in the pond, not spawned.  It was STRONG!  I was leaning on my 5wt TFO BVK as much as I could to keep it from diving into an underwater tree branch.  It made it anyway!  I still landed the fish, but WOW what a strong fighter!!

I didn’t see any bass, and also didn’t catch any crappies or anything else.  I eventually DID see some young-of-the-year bluegills along the shoreline, so the fish must have spawned last year.  Also, some of the bluegills had small black specks on their skin, which I think is indicative of a parasite that passes through snails has one of hosts during its life cycle.

Below is a pic of the hybrid sunfish…it was very pretty, but I only had my crappy cell phone to take its picture with.

As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed 3 younger guys fishing the pond by the dam.  I didn't see them catch anything, but I think they saw me catch some fish.  As I was leaving, they moved up the lake to near the area I had been fishing.  They were carrying buckets.

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