This past weekend was one great fishing weekend. Soon after school was over on Friday, Jonas and I sped away, camper in tow, to the Narrow Lake campground in the Greene-Sullivan State Forest. We parked the camper and drove the few miles to Island Pit, in the Minnehaha FWA. We were in search of rainbow trout….but before the night was over we would both catch a few bass, in fact I landed about 12 before dark and 2 were keepers.
The next morning found us up early and on the water by 7am, a few minutes ahead of actual sun up and once again the day was promising as I landed a nice bass on my second cast. I had tied a new fly the weekend before and once again it appeared to be the real deal as it mirrored a shad or minnow in the water and the bass were hot for it.
At one end of the lake is a small creek that flows in from the lake across the road and the bass were lined up, feeding on anything that filtered out of the creek or swam by and this made for a great first hour that found me landing about 10 more bass…of which 2 were keepers. As I turned back to the west I saw a flash, though it was faint it was clearly lightning in the far western sky. What I feared came true and within a half hour lightning was popping too close for comfort and thus Jonas and I loaded up our float tubes and headed back to the campground where we quickly hooked up the camper and headed off for home. We drove through a deluge all the way home and thankfully made it safely. I found out later while watching the weather channel that the storm had dropped 1.56 inches of rain in the first hour in Sullivan.
Sunday found us up early and off to church….but I had already made plans with dad to pick him up around 1pm and try a farm pond in Greene County that has been good for us in the past. Dad used the old ‘V bottom boat’ and both Jonas and I were once again in our float tubes looking for some of the big fish that reside here.
I had my 3 weight rod with type 1 sinking line and chose once again a size 8 Civil War Streamer…I have named it thus because it is all blue and gray in color. Click here for how to tie the Civil War Streamer. It didn’t take long to get things going and actually dad caught the first bass….Jonas followed suit not long after with a nice 13 inch black crappie. My first few fish were run of the mill bass, around 12 inches. Then I moved to the corner of the pond that usually produces big bluegills and bang I caught two 10 inch gils in a row.
I continued to catch decent bass in the 12 to 14 inch range and was working the south side of the pond when the take on the other end quickly turned into a battle. I had just recently tied on a size 4 Civil War Streamer and was stripping it in briskly when an 18 inch bass snarfed the fly…the ensuing battle lasted a few minutes and I was quite pleased to actually land this big bass on 4X tippet.
The fishing was quite consistent and I continued to land bass…when I got the best hit I have had in years. I was stripping the blue and gray streamer by a downed tree limb when the line stopped and the rod jolted me awake…it was a 12 inch red ear that had busted my fly. This was one nice fish; it measured 6 inches in height and was over an inch wide. I stripped in the big red ear, snapped a few pictures and turned it back into the murky brown water. Steve, the landowner and friend was nearby and I made a comment to him that I needed a crappie to get my ‘farm pond slam’. The wind which had started mild had percolated to a gale and was making line control of the undersized 3 weight quite tough. I decided to make a change and tied on a large white streamer with red eyes and a red under belly. I told myself I had enough energy to make one more lap around the pond….and was I ever glad I did.
I was back at my tree top where I caught the large red ear; I made a cast right in front of the downed limb and had made two strips when a big crappie came up out of the water…and when it did I could clearly see my white streamer in its mouth. I set the hook and the battle was on. I knew this was a very good fish and it would make my fourth specie and so I was more cautious than usual and it all paid off as I landed a 15 inch black crappie….and had completed my farm pond slam.
Now I will grant you that this was not a North American trout slam but I didn’t have to travel to the highlands of Wyoming either. A 10 inch bluegill, 18 inch bass, 12 inch red ear and 15 inch crappie and all on a 3 weight with great company nearby…this was certainly a day to remember and for sure an awesome day to Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
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