|Channel Catfish on a fly. Photos courtesy of Adam.|
Earlier this week, a coworker and I flyfished a local public pond during lunch. The pond has a black plastic barrel in it that sort of lays on its side. Its been there for about 2 years now. I don't know if a wind storm blew it in, or if somebody put it in there on purpose. It doesn't stay in one place....wind and waves move it very slowly around the pond.
I hadn't seen the barrel recently, but spotted it on that trip earlier in the week. It was near a corner of the pond I fish often. I saw a couple Channel Catfish near the open end of the barrel. They seemed to be guarding it, so were probably nesting in the barrel. Floating mats of algae and the fact the open end was pointed away from shore made presenting a fly to these catfish nearly impossible. I went back to work without catching the catfish.
So....today during our lunch hour my coworker and I visited the pond again. The barrel was still there. At first the barrel was positioned reasonably well for me to fish it. But by the time I tried a couple options and settled on a third, the barrel had rotated so the opening was almost directly away from me again, and algae mats appeared right over the top of that end of the barrel as well. I could occasionally see the catfish beneath the algae, but there was no way to get a fly there.
I spent the next 10 remaining minutes of my lunchtime excursion tossing my fly (basically a black woolly bugger with black rabbit fur tail and black beadchain eyes) around the algae mats, trying to hook the algae and slowly pull the algae mats away from the barrel. At one point I hooked into a muddy gob of algae, which broke loose from the rest and came flying towards me...hitting my pant leg and leaving a splatter of mud. Nice.... I'll look great going back to work now! Oh well. The time and effort paid off, and I was finally able to get down to the business of trying to present the fly to the catfish.
And within a 1/2 dozen casts to the catfish, I hooked up! YAY!!! First flyrod catfish of the year! It made some great strong, fast runs, bulldogged and thrashed, and I finally managed to bring it to shore. 21".