This past weekend’s fishing plans seemed to be non existent due to the fact that I was supposed to have an out-of-town playoff ballgame on Friday night that wouldn’t put me home until 3 AM Saturday morning and work all day on Sunday. However, as luck would have it, we couldn’t get adequate transportation for the band Friday night, so my Saturday looked like I would be able to get a little fishing done.
First and foremost, was the opportunity to spend a Friday evening with my wife and some friends for dinner and fellowship. I haven’t had the opportunity to do that for eleven weeks now! I thought seriously about making a trip down to the Highway 1 corridor to meet fellow fly fishermen for our annual fall, “Catch and Eat,” but I had already told them I couldn’t make the trip. The weather forecast called for winds from 12-15 miles per hour the whole day, which is very unfavorable to fly fishing, so I would have to try an alternate plan. My wife had plans to go to a craft fair in Ponchatoula so I had to find a place to do some fishing!
My son had been asking me to join him at a hunting camp because he wanted to see me catch some of the numerous bass in the pond out there on my fly rod. Thus, a “plan B” was formulated. I would get some morning chores done around the house and then make the hour-and-a-half drive to the hunting camp in Mississippi to meet him after his morning hunt. I arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon and visited with the hunters for a while before putting my kayak in one of two ponds that I had planned to fish. The first one was quite small and was completely surrounded by trees, which meant that it was totally unfishable from the bank. I was told that no one had fished that pond at all in years. I felt good about my chances, especially since the trees provided a barrier against the wind. I brought my 5 weight with me but I forgot to replace my salt water flies with my freshwater flies and all I had tied on to my tippet was a rabid dog. This fly, invented by a buddy of mine, Kirk Deitrich, has a very erratic movement in the water. I had done some tweaking on it a week ago (removed most of the feathers in the back) to make its action in the water more erratic.
My first fish was a chunky bream that I kept. The guys at the camp said they wanted fish for dinner and I was happy to oblige. While this pond looked great for fish, it was a considerably shallow pond and the fish were small. I ended up keeping three 12-inch bass and a couple of bream from that pond. I then relocated to the main pond on the property with was considerably larger and deeper and I was told that it held lots of large bass, most of which were in the three-pound range. I wasn’t disappointed. I was greeted to a chunky bass around the first bend, then a large bull bream. I continued to fish the pond and caught three bass, which were each in the three-pound range. As the sun began to fade, the action picked up. These bass were ferocious and they exploded on my rabid dog like they hadn’t eaten in weeks. I lost three good fish nearly back to back. Two of them knocked my fly completely out of the water and the third one broke my tippet. By now, I had no more fresh water flies in my box but I had six bass and three bream on the stinger. That was plenty enough fish to feed three men for supper. So the afternoon was a win-win for me. I was able to spend a Friday evening with my lovely wife and friends, I was able to get some maintenance work done around the house in the morning, I found a new fishing hole, I spent quality time with my son, I avoided windy conditions in the marsh, and I turned another young student on to the art of fly fishing.
Chris’s first bass on a popper.
One of the chunky bass fooled by the rabid-dog.
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