Spent an hour on the local pond, picking up bream with small balsa poppers. Almost every cast yielded a fish, including some small bass. Today’s preferred color was black.
Most of my casting is made from the steep side of the shoreline, carefully avoiding the grass and surface cover, not to mention the branches and brush behind me.
There is one rather unique opportunity to move away from the shoreline and extend my casting range. A fallen tree that reaches past the lily pads out into the pond. It has proven on more than one occasion to be a reliable casting platform.
Measuring 18″ wide in most places and worn down over time by the feet of other anglers, it allows me to cast from a spot that is 15 feet from shore, providing access to open water and often bigger fish.
I’ve learned to walk slowly and deliberately to the end, place my feet firmly and launch a progressive series of casts across the glassy surface. Often the popper is struck before the first twitch.
This time I also used the fallen tree to improve my distance casting. Freed from the hassle of getting tangled in a branch or bush, I worked on both accuracy and delivery.
My popper presentation has never been as smooth as it is with dry flies. This impromptu practice session allowed me to examine and adjust my timing and speed. By the end of the night I had reduced the size of the landing splash and improved the range.
Hope you’re getting out to fish as summer ends and fall approaches. Enjoy!