Man, this is taking much longer than it should...
Are we there yet?"
There is this pond where I live that I drive by quite often. It's on my way to and from work each day, as well whenever I run errands that require I hop on I-95. It's a non-descript retention pond, "RP-79" I suppose is its android-like identity, and I've always wondered what sort of fish, be it species or quantity, lived there.
Passing it yet again on Friday after work, I finally made the resolution I'd go fish it this weekend. Decided to sneak the activity into my usual Saturday morning bike ride... about six miles to the pond and six miles back. No sweat. Until I started pedaling.
Sure, I go for rides more than double the distance regularly, however, they rarely have the anticipation of reaching uncharted (to me) water. Those six miles felt like twenty.
Finally reaching 79 at around 9:30 AM I found some shade, parked my bike, and strung up the trusty Cabela's CGR fiberglass 4-weight. It's on the short side for ponds at only six-and-a-half feet (I bought it for little trout streams), but it's one of my favorite rods to fish... especially when paired with a tiny Albright click & pawl reel that has also seen a lot of time on the water. I just couldn't leave the pair at home, they've both been with me since at least 2011.
See, I write about tenkara a lot on this blog, but I'm still a sucker for a medium to slow action fly rod and the sweet squeal of a stressed clicker reel. Glass & reels are definitely not dead to this fixed line angler.
Tying on my favorite "prospecting" fly, a tungsten bead black leech pattern, it took no more than a handful of casts to get into a nice Florida largemouth bass. It would prove to be the kind you should hold with two hands, as not to stress the jaw. If only I had planned the hands-free photo a little bit better. I should take some tips from Justin Carf... or perhaps not...
Working around the perimeter of the pond in a counter-clockwise fashion yielded quite a few more bass of the smaller variety, as well as a few bluegills & sunfish. It had been raining quite a bit the past week, so the grass around the pond was very high, and the ground was extra swampy. Cast... squish, squish, squish, squish... cast... squish, squish, squish, squish...
The far side of the pond was really quite messy, lots of weeds, algae, and other muck, so I decided to switch to a topwater "Booglebug" to try to sidestep the underwater hazards. A couple small bass fell victim to the fluorescent yellow popper.
While they say "slow and steady wins the race," it might not catch the fish. By 11:00 AM, with the sun high in the sky, the bite turned off pretty much for good. There was nothing I could do to coax any action at that point, which was a bit of a bummer, but could do nothing to take away from all of the earlier fun.
So with that, I disassembled the rod, stowed the reel and flies, swapped my trucker hat for a cycling helmet, and hopped back on my bike for the six-mile return that was ahead.
Satisfaction now replacing anticipation, the pedal home went by in a flash.
Fishing Fitness Footnotes:
- Date: 8/4/2018
- Current weight: 197 lbs ( -19 since start)
- Today: Aforementioned 12-mile bike ride
- Misc: Weight yo-yoed a bit during my recent vacation. Weighed 197 before I left, but 202 when I returned due to ample cruise-ship buffet & dessert lines. Took this week to get back to pre-vacation weight.