...that I suspected there may be a few Redear Sunfish in a certain nearby pond. I finally got back to try and catch one of these spooky fish, and DID! I caught just one...a 9-incher...and they are indeed Redears. I've only seen maybe 6 nesting only in a certain area. I suspect they may have been stocked from elsewhere...and at this point I'm not even sure if there are any females in the pond or not...so it may not be a reproducing population. Because of that end, I will keep this pond under my hat.
I've been flyfishing the local public ponds in my city, starting in 2006 (so, 10 years now!). It was only about 3 years ago that I discovered a series of connected ponds have Pumpkinseed Sunfish in them. They are beautiful fish not commonly found in the area lakes and reservoirs, so that was a really nice surprise to find a population of them locally. I always hoped I'd find some Redear Sunfish too....they get big and fight hard, but can be difficult to entice to strike a fly, except when they are nesting. There are some of these in lakes within an hour or so drive of where I live, but I usually prefer to spend my time fishing rather than driving so I generally fish close to home. I say all this just as background to help understand why I think finding them in a nearby pond is SO AWESOME!
Anyway...so that started off my day on a high note. Since most of the fish that were on nests scattered when I approached, I put an indicator above a microjig to fish the far side of the weedline to see if I could get a female Redear or one of the males that had just vacated the shallows. I didn't get anymore Redears, but the indicator dropped down, and set the hook, and a nice fish shot out for the middle of the pond. I couldn't stop it on that first run! Strong fish! Turned out to be a 20" FAT Channel Catfish...my 2nd Channel Cat on a fly within 5 days.
I also caught a couple bass on poppers, and found some pretty nice bluegills.
After leaving this pond, I picked up my buddy Jay, and we fished Saylorville Lake. Using spinning gear, I caught a White Bass, Jay caught at least 3 more plus a Freshwater Drum. But most of the time we were flyfishing for carp. We saw plenty of them, but they pretty much ignored everything we showed them. I dropped a fly down in front of one that was feeding in some heavy flooded vegetation. The carp dropped down to the fly, I set the hook, and it took off for open water. My excitement was short-lived...it became unhooked in about 3 seconds. Bummer!
And then in the evening, my buddy Chad sends me a message asking where I'm going to fish that evening. It had been a long day out in the sun already... but its tough to resist a fishing invitation! So, back out I went. Chad flyfished poppers for bass, so I flyfished for bluegills with a yellow Boa Yarn Leech. I did well, and so did Chad. In addition to bass, he managed a Bluegill on that large popper! I ended up catching 4 bass along with the bluegills.
It had been a very enjoyable day of fishing!