Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fly fishing for....Catfish????

Well spring is finally here and fastly going to summer, time to get the fly gear out, dusted off, relined and head for the pond for some fun pan fish practice. I have the first Trout trip already booked and figured that I needed to get the cast practiced before going and trying to get a fly over top one of those very finicky Browns. So with gear in hand and ready to go I head for the family farm pond. I have written about fly fishing for pan fish in the pond before in my blog and figured this trip to be no different than any other. It started out as normal, bad cast after bad cast with me yelling at myself about keeping my wrist tight and waiting on the back cast before bringing the rod forward, all the usual first time garbage. I soon had myself all retooled and the cast were looking pretty if just a bit short (what do you expect, it was the first time of this year after all, can't have a perfect cast right out of the shoot). So casting correctly for the first time in an hour of fishing, I finally see a little bit of surface feeding action and cast in the area, boom, first fish of the year, a little, beautifully colored sunfish. Well the fun was on and for the next hour I must have caught 30 of the little monsters. This is the usual fair with a bass or two thrown in for a little bit of a fight to be had but this night I was fishing in the grassy area that was covered by the pond being up a bit due to spring rains so was not expecting the hard hitting bass, after all this is just practice for the Trout that was coming the next weekend. It was getting to be just about quiting time when I got my first fish on the line that was not a sunfish, a little bitty largemouth bass. I could of used this guy for bait he was that pitifully. Well I figured what the hell I will cast one more time and see if big brother bass was in the shallows as well. I put the little #12 black foam popper on 6x tippet out about 8' of the shore line and started playing it along when KABOOM, the water explodes, the line takes of at mach speed, hits the reel which also goes into a twirl and the fight is on. Welcome to the party big bro, glad you could attend the festivities. So finally I get the reel to slow and start working the big guy in, back and forth, I reel him in, he swims back out. To all of you fly fisherman, you know the wonderful dance of playing a fish that you know at any moment the little bastard is going to look up and spit the fly right back at you as to say "I have had enough fun with you today". What kept surprising me the whole time was that this guy never went above water. Largemouth bass are fun to catch just to watch the aerial displays they put on while being brought to bear. This guy was giving non-of that. So the fight continues till I finally get him in and plunge in the water with the net. Ta-da look at the beautiful 3# bas...CATFISH?? Catfish?? Was I seeing things, this fish had hit a topwater popper correct. Well the proof was in the net. My first ever Catfish catch on a fly rod. After that I figured I should call it a night, so I snapped a few pics for even more proof, gave the fish back to the pond for a future try and packed out. All in all, a very fun evening at the pond.