Weather conditions - mid 70's, 16 to 20 mph south-southwest winds, sunny
Water conditions - slightly stained, normal water level
Pond Hopping on the Fly ...

Late this morning, I watched my loving wife's car pulled out of the driveway and started heading down the street on her way to work ... I found myself unattended for a couple of hours, there was only one thing to do - "Pond Hopping".  Due to the windy conditions (16 to 20 mph south-southwest winds), I grabbed the 5-weight and headed out.  It was a pretty good outing fling flies and hooking-up on a dozen-plus panfish, half-dozen largemouth bass and a bonus rainbow trout when working the outside corner of a weedline with a Frosty Minnow (Olive / White, size 10).  The ticket was working the open pockets of heavy weed cover in shallow water (3 to 4 feet deep) with AMS Foam Fly (Black, size 8) - using a slow / short strip, strip, and pause retrieve (the majority of the strikes coming on the pause).  It felt really good to get in some shallow water action on surface flies, hooking-up on several male bluegills showing their spawning colors.  Tight lines and see you on the water.


Pond Hopping for Bluegills

Early Spring / Pre-Spawn

Northwest Indiana Spring Gill
When the water temperature reaches the low 50's and continues to climb, the fly angler has an excellent opportunity to hook-up on bluegills.  They will start staging in shallow water to feed on insects, hatching fry and the eggs of other nesting fish.  Despite being active and in a positive feeding mood, they can be easily spooked ... a cautious approach and a good presentation is critical.

The larger gills will relate and position themselves close to structure (steep breakline, weedline, dead submerged timber) with access to deeper water ... even better yet, the structure is close proximity to a spawning flat.

My setup consists of a 3-weight fly rod (a 4- or 5-weight, if the wind is uncooperative), matching weight forward line, and 4X leader with a 5X fluorcarbon tippet (9 to 10 feet overall length).  For fly selection, my perference is nymph patterns - Teeny Nymph (sizes 10 and 12), Hare's Ear Nymph (sizes 14 and 16), Pheasant Tail Nymph (sizes 14 and 16), and Zug Bug (sizes 12 and 14).  If I don't get a strike on the drop, I will incorporate a slow hand-twist retrieve to keep the fly at the targeted depth without allowing it to sink down to the bottom.



Just chilling out on the Vise ...

Effective flies, like effective lingerie should be slightly
transparent, minimalistic, pretty and discardable.

Teach a man to fly fish and tie ... and
he will play with his fly all day.

Click here to view more of Andy's ties (with recipes)

Carp Crack, Crawfish Orange ... (size 10 shown)

Hook - Mustad 3366
Sizes - 4 to 10
Thread - Orange
Eyes - Black Bead Chain
Tail / Claws - Orange Centipede Legs
Body - Crawfish Orange SLF Dubbing
Hackle - Dark Orange Hen
Head - Crawfish Orange SLF Dubbing

The bead chain eyes are mounted on top of the hook shank to invert the hook, making the fly weedless.  This fly cries out, "Bite Me" ... not just only for carp but also for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.


Line & Lure conditioner is the Reel Deal ...
Since the spring of 2012, I have been using Line & Lure on my fly lines, leaders, tippets, dry flies, and bass bugs.  Its preformance has been "two thumbs-up".  Cleaning and coating my fly line with this conditioner reduces the line-to-guide friction, repels debris which increases line control (improved casting accuracy, line speed and distance), better line floatability (easier line mending and improved fly presentation).  On leaders and tippets, they float higher and cleaner.  Dressing dry flies and bass bugs with Line & Lure has proven to be a major plus - they ride higher and longer than other dressings that I have used in the past.  Therefore, I spend less time drying / re-dressing my fly and more time fishing.  Also, using Line & Lure on my sunglasses adds a scratch resistant and dust repelling coating - along with, reducing glare and miinimizes water spotting.

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