|First Blue Gill of the year|
Last night, around 6:30 p.m. I thought that maybe a quick trip up to the farm pond would be in order. There's no longer a proper farm up there. Today, the old farm house, really more of an estate-like thing, governs a tastefully organized housing development. They do still farm a bit of hay in the field below the house.
The old caretaker's house sits at the edge of the pond. and two or three new homes, the new crop in town, sit back in the woods a ways.
Two of those houses have green, green grass going all the way down to the pond and the town owns a bit a property along the road that gives access to anyone who desires. The town mows a portion of this about once a season so they've cultivated some prime tick habitat in the form of waist high weeds.
Sam and I were down here last weekend. The water was still too cold for the blue gills to be on the redds and we cast a bit halfheartedly and gave up after a half hour or so. Apparently the warming trend that put trout and mayflies in the mood hadn't yet affected small farm ponds.
I fancied a cigar and a tug on the line and when I pulled onto the side of the rod a swirl near the reeds said that the fish were active. I couldn't see any redds from the edge of the water but I tied on a small green caddis emerger, the blue gills aren't too picky, and put it below a ball of strike putty and cast out.
The fishing was steady. The gills would take a fly twitched. They gills would take a fly on a slow retrieve. They even took the strike putty a time or two. Spring fishing for gills is easy fishing; the sort of fishing that's great for a beginner or easy fun for someone who's been at it longer.
I was going to have a cigar but two factors caused me to pause. First, when you're catching blue gills at the rate of one a minute or so you have little time to light up. Second, when your line is standing in water and coiled on land that is covered in what only can be described as "too much" goose crap, you really don't want to be putting your hands anywhere near your mouth.
One of the homeowners across the pond let out his retriever and the dog quickly herded the thirty or so geese on his lawn, into the water. This guy probably wonders why the geese are so prone to appear on his lawn and probably blames proximity to the pond.
The reality is, it's his own damn fault. If he just maintained a reasonable vegetative buffer around his portion of the pond, the geese wouldn't avail themselves of his beautifully, Scott-built, lawn. But as soon as the geese were off, he pulled out the spreader and commenced to fertilizing. Brilliant.
I played with the gills until it started to cool and the sun slipped below the hill behind me and the strike indicator was no longer distinguishable in the gloom.
Even though I stood in goose crap and inwardly railed at the lack of vegetative buffers it was nice to get some blue gills on the line. I'll have to take Sam out some evening this week.