“That’s why they call it fishing and not catching”
Boy. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one, I’d be staring at an early retirement. Any chance to go out and fish is great…Don’t get me wrong…But sometimes I don’t want to go fishing. I want to go catching.
So I did just that.
On the plantations I work on, I’ve been given permission to fish under one constraint: I have to keep everything I catch. So when the urge to have a fish fry simply became too great, I drove down to one of the ponds and took advantage of the bedding bream.
Prior to this, I’d seen plently of bream beds scattered along the edges of lakes and ponds. But this was a first for me. The beds were practically stacked on top of one another and in them, were keeper Bluegill.
With the 3Wt and a bead head nymph in hand, I proceeded to go catching. Over the course of several minutes, I took approximately 40 casts and landed 20 keeper Bluegill.
The picture shows 19 fish, and that’s because I never keep the first Bluegill I catch. It’s simply bad luck to do so. But I won’t get into that with this post. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms…Or bead head nymphs in this case.
For all 40 casts, I stood in one spot and never moved. Afterall, why change up spots when this one is working so well? At one point, I handed off the fly rod to a friend who prior to this outing, had never cast a fly rod before. He made five or six uneasy casts (after my
God awful expert instructing), and proceeded to land his first three fish on the fly rod.
After the 20th fish was secure in the cooler, I took a step back and decided what to do. At this point, I was almost feeling bad about what I was doing. Fishing has never been this easy…much less fly fishing. But then again, I rememberd that hardly anyone ever fishes these ponds and those who do bass fish almost exclusively. It’s good for the pond to have a few big bream go missing. Had I wanted to, there’s no doubt in my mind that I could have sat there and reached my limit in under 2 hours.
But I’m -so- glad I quit when I did. When I made it back to the house, I was reminded why I practice catch and release so often. Cleaning fish is always my least favorite part of the fishing trip, and it doesn’t help that Bluegill have a nasty habit of reproducing once they’re thrown on ice. But the eternity taken to clean each fish is always worth it when it’s time for the fish fry.
I’ll certainly be going back to these ponds soon. The next time will probably be more of a fishing trip…But a catching trip was a nice change of pace.