Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lunchtime Fly-Fishing Report, 4-17-2012

I fly-fished a local public pond near work during lunch today.  It was a bit cooler than I'd hoped, and a bit windier as well, but all in all a decent day for fishing.

This pond still had just a tiny bit of run-off from our weekend rain still flowing into one corner of the pond.  Well...more like a trickle, but fish notice this!  There was evidence around this pond, like others I'd seen, that the water had been up about 2' above normal during the storm, and had since receded to normal.  Definite signs of shoreline erosion, and the water was murky compared to recent trips to this pond.

I hoped to find some catfish active near where the water enters the pond.  I haven't seen any catfish in this pond for a couple years, but I'm hopeful they are still there.  I did not see any today.  Discouraging sign.

I also hoped to spot some grass carp, but once again did not see any.  I saw some earlier in the year, so I KNOW that are there...somewhere.

I actually had a rather GOOD time at this pond!  Caught more and larger fish than I have for several years.  Large is a relative term in this case, but this pond is "recovering", and seems to be doing ok so far.

I ended up with a dozen Bluegills (mostly 7.5"-8"), 5 nice Green Sunfish (7.5"-8" and FAT), and a surprise Crappie (just over 11").  I can probably count on one hand the number of crappies I've caught from this pond over the years.  This one was CRAZY strong for a crappie!  I caught most of the fish on a black "Daedalian Damsel".

On to the fish pics...first, the Green Sunfish.  Recent pics of Green Sunfish from this pond, had showed the normal progression of Green Sunfish coloration that tends to get more bright yellow in the belly and pelvic fins as spawning time approaches. This first one especially showed a lot more BLACK, and had a lot of black spots.:
This one was a bit more normal, but still had a lot of black on its pelvic and anal fins.
Just thought I'd throw this close-up head picture in for kicks, to show the coloration and mouth size.

This is the 11+" Crappie that fought so hard:

And finally, a couple of the Bluegills.  This one had a lot of metallic blue between the eye and opercle.
And this one was pretty colorful as well, but the sunlight disappeared behind clouds by this time.

One last thing that had me sort of excited.  I saw a large (~12"?) white goldfish swimming around.  Seemed to be following me around a bit.  I left it alone the first time I saw it, but later it was just hanging out near me, so before I headed back to work, I put on a smaller fly under an indictor and tossed it out.  After a couple casts, I got the "drift" by the fish that I wanted, and I think it hit the fly!  The indicator twitched a bit.  I didn't set the hook because I was waiting for the indicator to do something more than that.  It never did.  Nevertheless, I was that much closer to catching a Goldfish on my fly rod.  Some day....!


  1. Great Dave!

    I have been persuaded that what I called goldfish in the past were koi. I think that koi have barbels as carp, goldfish do not. Whatever, they are tough, notoriously so! If you had a hit lucky you! They hang with grass carp here where I see them most, or the other way around. A pal caught one of about 15lb. once, I've just hooked 2 that came off. The sunfish you have are large, and good pictures you have of them.


    1. Gorgeous green sunfish. I thought the ones I have been catching were big! Can't wait to hook into some that size.

      What did you toss to get that crappie in?

    2. @Gregg--I've seen Koi in a couple ponds. Beautiful fish, I'd LOVE to catch one on fly gear! I think they might actually be tougher than Grass Carp to catch...maybe! I've caught goldfish years ago using worms for bait. I think the key is to use a SMALL hook and a similarly small fly for the 12" goldfish I see in many ponds around here. They are obviously "pets" that were released when they got too big for their aquariums. I also think I need to see the hook IMMEDIATELY when I suspect a strike, because they will probably spit it out quickly when they discover the fly isn't real food!

      I've been fortunate to have found a couple public ponds in town that have these LARGE Green Sunfish. I've never seen bigger. Our DNR website says they rarely exceed 6 or 7 inches. Most of these are 7.5-8". Our State Record is 2lb 1 oz, so they CAN get bigger. I look forward to seeing how much they grow in the next year or two!

      @Anthony - I was using a #10 black Daedalian Damsel. Easy fly to tie. Marabou tail, then instead of cutting off the extra marabou, you twist it a little, then wind it up the shank. It produces a nice tapered body. I use fine wire for ribbing to add durability.