Thursday, May 26, 2016

Late May 2016

Thanks to a tip from a fellow flyfisherman, I fished a new-to-me pond in a nearby suburb  (yes, Des Moines has suburbs!  ;o)  )  and was able to catch a Rainbow Trout out of still water this late in the season.  With the warming water, its hard to say how much longer the trout will survive there.  I caught in next to a weedline dropoff, on a black & yellow microjig about 2.5' beneath an indicator.

I also caught a couple bass, lost a nicer one, and also caught some smallish but colorful bluegills.

From some other ponds....bluegills have been the main obliging species, along with some bass and crappies.

I've been flyfishing quite a bit for Grass Carp.  I've seen plenty...still just can't get them to strike!
Here's a video I shot of one:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mixed Bag in Early May 2016

Weeds and algae are already starting to become problematic in a number of the ponds I fish.
I'm pretty excited to have gotten my first flyrod carp of the year.  I was fishing for them.  I spotted one in the shallows near me.  I got into position so that I could toss a Whitlock's Near 'Nuff Crayfish beyond it, then swam it closer and dropped it near the front edge of its "dinner plate" zone.  It swam over and sucked it up!  Great fighter.
I was hoping to show the fly in the carp's mouth, but the fly is hard to see, since it collected some algae during the fight.
Male Largemouth Bass are guarding nests and refuse to eat.  But I've still come up with some on blockhead poppers and black mohair leeches, mostly.
This male measured 17.5":
This one hit a yellow boa yarn leech:
This one took a purple zonker leech:

Crappies are still hitting, when I can find them.  I've taken them on a number of different fly patterns, from hackleless mylar chenille Buggers, boa yarn leeches, and mohair leeches to microjigs.

I've had some decent action from some pretty nice Bluegills:

And its pretty obvious the female Bluegills haven't spawned yet:

Hybrid Sunfish have been active. They seem to especially like foam floating bugs and black leeches.
The picture just doesn't do it justice...this jumbo 9.5-incher was super-strong!

I thought this was interesting.  I caught these two Hybrid Sunfish from the same pond, same evening.
I think the one on the left is a Bluegill x Green Sunfish hybrid, whereas the one on the right appears to be a Bluegill x Pumpkinseed Sunfish hybrid.  Both very beautiful fish, too bad it was overcast:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Keep Trying New Places

As I've mentioned numerous times, I live in a fast-growing town of (currently) ~50,000 population.  At last count, there are 30+ public ponds scattered throughout town.  I've gotta say....its pretty awesome!

I usually try many of the ponds each year at least once, and then revisit based on how good the fishing is at that particular pond, what fish species it has....and how close it is to my home.

Yesterday, my flyfishing friend Chad told me about his results from flyfishing one of the ponds I had not ever fished.  The numbers sounded great, but the sizes didn't strike me as particularly noteworthy.  I don't have plans to visit that pond yet.  But there's another pond near that one I've been thinking about trying again for some time.  I had fished it once very briefly several years ago.  The cattails surrounding the pond had made flyfishing from shore a real challenge and chore.  I think I caught one nice bluegill during that 10 minutes of fishing.  I hadn't gone back.

I'd heard one of the residents living near the pond now keeps the cattails mowed down.  And although the pond is very shallow for a wide band around the perimeter and develops serious algae mats during the summer, Chad suggested I try it now....before the algae gets bad.  Great idea!

So, after dinner last night, my friend Jay and I visited the pond, flyrods in hand.
Fishing started out very tough.  The pond is roughly square.  We started at Corner #1 and we fished an entire side of the pond before finally striking a few fish near corner #2.  I fished almost the entire time  with a #8 black mohair leech with a red glass beadhead. First fish was a nice crappie with a big belly.

I started to catch a few fish here and there....but only picked up a few more bluegills by the time I fished along and rounded Corner #3 and reached Corner #4.  Corner #4 had more fish in it, possibly because it was the downwind corner.  I caught some nice bluegills, another crappie or two, and some small and medium-sized bass.

Jay had reached about shoreline 2.5, before backtracking to Corner #2 and refishing shoreline stretch #1, and finally returning to Corner #1 as the sky began to darken.  The strong wind also subsided at about the same time.  At some point, he had switched to a blockhead popper, trying for bass.  He'd gotten some great strikes, and had lost a few fish.  So...I decided to give that a try along shoreline #4, as I worked my way back towards Corner #4.

It was pretty exciting fishing!  I ended up catching another 5-6 bass in the 14"-16" range.  All nice healthy, strong fish.  I was amazed at how shallow the water was where the fish were when they struck the popper!
Very fun evening! I look forward to returning to this pond again, before the algae inevitably will make fishing difficult.