While there have been very few things to celebrate these past few months, today was an exception. We broke from a string of days with your choice of cool temps and/or rain, and found 80-degrees on the thermometer, complete with sunshine and calm wind.
The state has been regularly stocking the streams with trout, and many anglers are hitting the water. Some obey social distancing guidelines, some don’t. Crowds on the water are not my thing during normal times. Much less during a pandemic.
Today I took the path less chosen. After work I quickly loaded the kayak and headed to the local bass pond. It turned out to be a good decision. In addition to little company, the fishing was good.
One of the things that I enjoy most about pond fishing is the simplicity. I used the same white balsa popper the entire time. Not losing a popper is an accomplishment on its own. The 6′ one-piece fiberglass rod that I built a few years ago proved itself again. Not exactly a travel rod, but it delivers the popper softly and has enough bend to bring a fish close to the kayak for release.
My first fish on the line was this bass. A good start to prepare for many more.
Next came a series of sunfish. While they are not known for fighting abilities, the larger ones are a lot of fun to play as they race under the kayak.
I’m always amazed at the colors and patterns on a pumpkinseed.
I finished on a high note with the personal best of the day – a bass that fought and jumped right until it was beside the kayak. It shot straight out of the water just as the sun was reaching the trees. It briefly reminded me of a tarpon.
I packed the car and looked back, realizing how lucky we are to have this pond close by. While it may seem that there aren’t many things to be thankful for, this will be one place that I visit to enjoy the distancing, and remember how wonderful a day on the water can be.
As I finish writing it has started pouring – again. The rain is beating on my canoe like a snare drum. It’s strangely comforting, reminding me of the outdoor adventures to come.
Hope you are making the best of social distancing and finding some time on the water for yourself.